Monday Dec 10, 201206:08 AM GMT
No breakthrough in Obama, Boehner fiscal cliff talks
US President Barack Obama speaks before Speaker John Boehner (2nd R) during a meeting in Washington, DC, November 16, 2012.
US President Barack Obama speaks before Speaker John Boehner (2nd R) during a meeting in Washington, DC, November 16, 2012.
US President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have discussed the ways to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” but reached no deal to tackle Washington’s deficit woes.


The White House said after the Sunday talks that "the lines of communication remain open," but it gave no details on the negotiations.

The Democrats and Republicans are trying to reach a deal to stop automatic spending cuts and tax increases, which will take effect on January 1, 2013, if no deal is reached.

Obama's most recent proposal to stave off the "fiscal cliff" calls for USD 1.6 trillion in new revenues, achieved in part by letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans, as well as USD 600 billion in spending cuts and a handful of other measures.

The Republicans have put forward a counter offer that is made up of USD 900 billion in spending cuts and USD 800 billion in new revenues achieved through tax reform that precludes rate increases.

The White House says it will not accept a deal unless tax rates for the wealthiest Americans rise.

The Republicans, however, say that tax hikes would hurt a still fragile economy.

On Friday, Boehner accused Obama of recklessly pushing the US to the fiscal brink over tax hikes, saying the deficit talks had "no progress."

Meanwhile, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has said that the US needs a balanced and comprehensive approach regarding the looming “fiscal cliff” to tackle its deficit woes.

"The best way to go forward is to have a balanced approach that takes into account both increasing the revenue, which means, you know, either raising taxes or creating new sources of revenue, and cutting spending," said Lagarde in an interview on Sunday.

DB/HMV
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