Obama rejects Republicans 'out of balance' fiscal cliff plan

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 07:20 hrs

President Barack Obama has dismissed a House Republican deficit reduction offer as being 'still out of balance', saying there will be no agreement until the GOP agrees on raising taxes on the rich.

Obama even suggested that one-on-one negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) won't make a difference until Republicans change their position.

"I don't think the issue right now has to do with sitting in a room," Obama said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

"The issue right now that's relevant is the acknowledgment that if we're going to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with the very tough cuts that we've already made and the further reforms in entitlements that I'm prepared to make, that we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2 percent go up. And we're not going to be able to get a deal without it," he said.

"It's not me being stubborn," Politico quoted Obama, as saying, adding: "It's not me being partisan. It's just a matter of math."

According to the report, Obama said he is open to changes to entitlement programs, but wouldn't commit to benefit cuts.

Republicans have rejected as laughable an offer last week from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to raise 1.6 trillion dollars in new revenue and spend 200 billion dollars on programs to stimulate the economy, the report said.

Obama responded on the House GOP proposal to raise 800 billion dollars in new revenue, but not through higher tax rates, the report added..

"We have the potential of getting a deal done," Obama said, adding: "Unfortunately, the speaker's proposal right now is still out of balance." (ANI)

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