In a recent interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” American Bankers Association President and CEO Frank Keating and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell weighed in on budget and fiscal cliff negotiations.
Joe Kernen, the program’s co-anchor, asked Keating if President Obama had any executive powers that could be utilized in dealing with the fiscal cliff and budget situation.
“They’re not children,” Keating said of the congressmen. “They are elected officials of the United States. They have to come together…We avoided an embarrassing calamity, but there’s a disaster down the road, and hopefully, the president will be at the head of the table and not have a surrogate do his negotiating.”
Rendell said that balancing the budget is important, adding that the president lacks a history of executive leadership and that he would use tax reform to raise revenue.
“As Simpson-Bowles said, it can mean lowering tax rates for corporate America but getting rid of some of these loopholes that are ridiculous,” Rendell said, referring to the commission tasked with developing a solution to the debt crisis.
Keating pointed to a number of tactics used during his term as governor of Oklahoma in balancing the budget.
“It can be done, it can be done in a bipartisan way, it just takes leadership,” Keating said. “Somebody needs to sit at the head of the table and close the doors and lock them and say ‘We’re not leaving until we resolve this.’”