WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is calling on congressional Republicans to support an extension of existing tax rates for households earning $250,000 or less. He says the economy cannot afford a tax increase on all Americans.
The president says he will not agree to any budget deal that extends current tax rates for the wealthiest taxpayers, saying their rates should rise to help raise revenue. He says his stand was validated by voters in the election.
Mr. Obama says he is confident that he and Congress can reach an agreement that avoids a so-called "fiscal cliff" on Jan. 1, when all tax rates would revert to Clinton-era levels and a series of deep spending cuts kick in.
House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans want to cooperate with President Barack Obama on reducing federal deficits, but not by raising income tax rates. Boehner says that would hurt job creation.