U.S. vice president pushes "fiscal cliff" deal

2012-12-08 02:53:50 GMT2012-12-08 10:53:50(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has weighed in on the fiscal cliff debate. He says if both sides can reach a deal, the upside for the economy will be high.

Biden says the government is ready to respond to any serious offer from Republicans, but insists tax rates must be increased. It’s the latest move in a White House effort to apply political pressure on Republicans opposed to a tax hike on the nation's wealthiest.

The president wants to extend George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class, while ending them on annual incomes higher than 250,000 dollars. The tax cuts are the key to a deal on heading off the so-called fiscal cliff, a series of tax hikes and spending cuts that kick in next year without a new deficit reduction agreement. The two sides hope an agreement can be reached by the end of the year. If not, taxes go up on ALL Americans.

Republican House Speaker, John Boehner, has accused Obama of pushing the country toward the fiscal cliff by wasting another week without making progress in talks.

(Source: CNTV.cn)

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