Obama: No fiscal cliff deal without higher rates

Associated Press
National Governors Association (NGA) Vice Chair, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, center, talks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, following a meeting between the NGA executive committee and President Barack Obama regarding the fiscal cliff. From left are, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Fallin, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, and NGA Chairman, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says there will be no deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" unless Republicans drop their opposition to raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans.

However, Obama is signaling flexibility on where the rates eventually wind up. Obama says he knows he won't get everything that he wants in negotiations with congressional Republicans. He made the comments Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg News.

The president campaigned for re-election on a plan to raise the rates on the top 2 percent of income earners to 39.6 percent, which is where they were under former President Bill Clinton. Obama administration officials have indicated they would be open to keeping the rate lower if the same amount of revenue can be achieved through closing tax loopholes and other measures.

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