WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said on Bloomberg Television that a Republican offer on averting the so-called fiscal cliff won’t raise the revenue needed to shrink the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.
“We have the potential of getting a deal done,” Obama said Tuesday at the White House in his first television interview since winning re-election. “Unfortunately,” he said, House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal “right now is still out of balance.”
The primary obstacle to a compromise is Republicans’ refusal to raise marginal income tax rates on the top two percent of earners, he said.
Obama spoke the day after Boehner sent a letter to the White House countering the administration’s plan with a proposal that included $2.2 trillion in new revenue and spending cuts without raising rates.
“We’re going to have to see the rates on the top 2 percent go up, and we’re not going to be able to get a deal without it,” the president said.
Obama said he’s willing to further cut entitlements and realizes he won’t get “100 percent” of what he wants in negotiations to avoid about $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases due to take effect at the start of 2013.
The president’s comments come amid a stalemate between Obama and congressional Republicans over averting the fiscal cliff, at a time when each side has staked out a position that the other regards as unacceptable, and there are few outward signs of productive negotiation toward a compromise.