From CNN WIRES:
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday delivered a "strong" and "determined" defense of his intent to allow Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier Americans to expire while preserving cuts for middle-income earners, according to conversations with several people who attended a meeting between the president and labor and progressive leaders.
The meeting at the White House - along with a second unannounced meeting with representatives from roughly a dozen groups focused on women's issues - was the start of a lengthy process of negotiating a resolution to the nation's impending budget crisis.
Obama is scheduled to meet with business leaders on Wednesday and congressional leaders from both parties on Friday. They include:
* Mark Bertolini, President, Chairman and CEO, Aetna
* Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox
* Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express
* David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell
* Mike Duke, President and CEO, Walmart
* Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric
* Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman and CEO, Dow
* Robert McDonald, President and CEO, Proctor & Gamble
* Alan Mulally, President and CEO, Ford
* Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo.
* Ginni Rometty, President, Chairman and CEO, IBM
* John Watson, Chairman and CEO, Chevron
This morning on "Early Start," Ali Velshi explains how these business leaders could contribute to helping the U.S. economy.
READ MORE: Obama tells labor he's committed to 'protecting' middle class on taxes
The day before Ursula Burns, Xerox CEO, met with President Obama this week, she announced another 2500 layoffs at Xerox. There couldn't have been two more different agendas at that meeting!
Why not let Bush taxes expire for everyone and allow the Clinton taxes to go in effect for everyone? The "rich" would continue to pay a higher rate and everyone participates in the recovery. I don't understand Obama's obsession with penalizing the small businesses who hire the middle class. The Clinton tax rate for Everyone helped encourage a healthy economy and didn't foster resentment in the communities and the country.
Is Obama "protecting" the middle class from returning to Clinton tax rates or is he penalizing their employers? The Clinton tax rate was fair in that everyone participated, the economy thrived and it didn't breed resentment and discord in the community and the country. Let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone and return to Clinton tax rates for all.
Notify me of new comments via email.
"Early Start with John Berman and Christine Romans" airs weekdays from 5-6am ET on CNN. Check in regularly for news, show updates and a little bit of fun.