"Fiscal cliff” talks make inspiring headway

2012-12-18 02:06:45 GMT2012-12-18 10:06:45(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

By Wang Yang, Sina English

US President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner have met at the White House as talks on avoiding the "fiscal cliff" gather pace.

Mr Boehner has signalled he would agree to raising tax rates for those earning more than $1m (£620,000) per year. The 45-minute meeting follows face-to-face discussions on Thursday and a phone call between the two on Friday.

A deal must be reached by 1 January, or a combination of steep tax rises and sharp spending cuts will take effect.

Mr Boehner has reportedly also said he would accept as much as $1tn in new tax revenue over 10 years and would raise the debt ceiling to ensure the government is funded for a year.

In exchange, it is reported that he would like the White House to agree to $1tn of spending cuts.

"Our position has not changed. Any debt limit increase would require cuts and reforms of a greater amount," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck told the Associated Press. Neither side has released details from Monday's meeting.

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