President Barack Obama and his economic team are torn over whether to make overhauling the tax system a priority or relegate it to a brief mention in his annual State of the Union address, a top administration official said.
They are debating the risks if the plan fails to raise revenue that could be used to close trillion-dollar budget deficits, because the political pain may dwarf the fallout from last year’s health-care overhaul, the official said.
Administration officials are conferring with corporate leaders after Obama met Dec. 16 with 20 executives, including the chiefs of Google Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc., on ways to fuel the economy. Dorothy Coleman, vice president of tax and domestic policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, said her group has spoken with administration officials about fundamental tax overhaul.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has invited the chief financial officers of companies to a Jan. 14 meeting to continue the discussion, a department spokeswoman said.