Talks yield no apparent progress toward avoiding 'cliff'

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A day that brought some high-level talks on the approaching "fiscal cliff" has resulted only in additional finger-pointing.

Republicans say Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner didn't bring a specific plan for spending cuts when he met with GOP congressional leaders today. House Speaker John Boehner says many Democrats are refusing to back what he calls "sensible spending cuts" that need to be part of a deal to reduce the deficit.

But Democrats say it's up to Republicans to make a "serious offer."

And White House spokesman Jay Carney says Republicans need to face the facts that the tax rates for the highest-earning Americans are going to go up. Otherwise, he says, "there can be no deal." He says that should only come as a surprise to those who were "in a coma during the campaign season."

Polls of voters on Election Day found 60 percent saying taxes should go up on income over $250,000 -- or for everyone.

Despite the frustration voiced by Republican leaders after today's talks, Boehner said it doesn't mean he's breaking off talks with congressional Democrats and the White House. He said, "Going over the fiscal cliff is serious business."

Without an agreement, tax cuts will expire and across-the-board spending cuts will take effect in January.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)

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