Obama Says Wealthy Must Pay Higher Taxes; GOP Wants Tax Code Changes

WASHINGTON (November 9, 2012)--President Barack Obama said Friday raising taxes on wealthiest Americans must be part of deficit reduction plan, but said he is "open to compromise" and "new ideas."

Mr. Obama said, however, he will refuse to accept any approach that "isn't balanced."

Meanwhile U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said any deal to avert a plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff should include lower tax rates, eliminating special interest loopholes and revising the tax code.

Mr. Obama said in his first public comments since the election that Congress should pass a bill that would prevent Bush-era tax cuts from expiring for all but the wealthiest Americans.

He said lawmakers from both parties need to work together to tackle the nation's fiscal problems and said he is inviting congressional leaders of both parties to the White House next week for talks.

Lawmakers face a Jan. 2 deadline to reach an agreement.

Boehner, meanwhile, told reporters Friday that changing the tax code and making it more efficient would lead to greater revenue for the government.

Boehner said he had a brief conversation with the president earlier this week as the chief executive and congressional leaders negotiate a way to avoid a fiscal cliff that economists say would plunge the nation into another recession.

Boehner also indicated that raising the debt limit that the government will reach sometime in the spring should be part of any negotiations.

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