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Goldman CEO: I'll pay 5 percent more in taxes for budget deal

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WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs chiefexecutive, Lloyd Blankfein, became the latest big-name businessleader to pledge to pay steeper tax - 5 percent, he said - inexchange for a long-term bipartisan deal in Congress to keep thecountry from falling off the "fiscal cliff."

Blankfein is part of a group of corporate executives whohave raised nearly $30 million to support a deal to avoid theso-called cliff - about $600 billion in tax hikes and spendingcuts set to take effect at the end of the year.

Asked if he would pay 5 percent more in taxes if it becamenecessary for Congress to reach a deal, he said "I don't knowanybody who wouldn't."

Blankfein, who characterized his political views as "centerleft," was interviewed Thursday along with Erskine Bowles andAlan Simpson on CNBC.

Simpson and Bowles are co-chairs of a bipartisan commissionestablished by President Barack Obama that in December, 2010came up with a comprehensive proposal to tame deficits. Whilethe commission's report is now held up by Democrats andRepublicans as a model, it was never translated into law. Obamadid not act on it, which some criticized as a missedopportunity, but others say was wise since House Republicans had

voted against it on the panel.

Despite the push for a broad deficit-cutting deal to avoidthe fiscal cliff, Congress has put off any decisions until afterthe Nov. 6 presidential and congressional elections.

That will leave lawmakers only a few weeks to act before theautomatic cuts and tax increases are triggered under a budgetlaw passed by Congress in 2011.

(Reporting By Kim Dixon, with additional reporting by LaurenLaCapra. Editing by Fred Barbash and Gunna Dickson)

((Kim.Dixon@thomsonreuters.com)(202-841-1372))

Keywords: USA FISCALCLIFF/GOLDMANCEO