Thursday, October 11, 2012

Goldman CEO: I'd Pay Five Percent More In Taxes To Help Avoid The 'Fiscal Cliff' #p2 #tcot

WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein on Thursday became the latest big-name business leader to pledge to pay a steeper tax rate - 5 percent more, he said - in exchange for a long-term bipartisan deal in Congress to keep the country from falling off the "fiscal cliff."

Blankfein is part of a group of corporate executives who have raised nearly $30 million to support a deal to avoid the nearly $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect at the end of the year.

Asked if he would pay 5 percent more in taxes if it became necessary for Congress to reach a deal, he said "Of course ... I don't know anybody who wouldn't."

Blankfein, who characterized his political views as "center left," was interviewed Thursday along with Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson on CNBC.

Blankfein also said there would be a "huge" positive impact on the economy if a bipartisan compromise were reached.

"I'd be a buyer of the market," he said.

Simpson and Bowles were co-chairs of a bipartisan commission established by President Barack Obama that in December, 2010 came up with a comprehensive proposal to reduce the budget deficit, which has been topping $1 trillion for several years.

The commission's report has some support among Democrats and Republicans as a deficit-reduction model, though when it was initially proposed, Obama did not act on it and most House Republicans opposed it.

Both Simpson and Bowles have been traveling the country with the corporate group to push for a similar proposal.

They are also trying to sway a group of Senators known as the "Gang of Eight," - four Democrats and Republicans each, who are working on a bipartisan deal and have embraced the model.

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