Talks yield no apparent progress toward avoiding 'cliff'

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Associated Press

Posted on November 29, 2012 at 3:00 PM

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 (GYT'-nur) didn't bring a specific plan for spending cuts when he met with GOP congressional leaders today. House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) 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.

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%@AP Links

264-w-35-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with Jay Carney, White House press secretary, and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio)--After a day of meetings on Capitol Hill, public positions are hardening in talks on averting the so-called "fiscal cliff." AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (29 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *264 (11/29/12)>> 00:35

219-a-07-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"to go up"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says it's time Republicans in Congress accept that Bush-era tax cuts on the very rich are going away. (29 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *219 (11/29/12)>> 00:07 "to go up"

221-a-07-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"earners going up"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says there's only one path to a deficit accord, and that's through raising tax rates on the rich. (29 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *221 (11/29/12)>> 00:07 "earners going up"

196-a-06-(House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, with reporters after meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner)-"last two weeks"-House Speaker John Boehner says nothing has been accomplished for weeks. (29 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *196 (11/29/12)>> 00:06 "last two weeks"

068-a-12-(House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, with reporters yesterday)-"our country has"-House Speaker John Boehner says the GOP is looking for the administration to acknowledge entitlements must be scaled back. (29 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *068 (11/29/12)>> 00:12 "our country has"

APPHOTO DCSA114: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., center, followed by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill., left, arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, following a meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the fiscal cliff negotiations. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (29 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO DCSA114 (11/29/12)>>

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