Obama looks to put human touch on cliff talks


Associated Press

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 6 at 4:49 PM

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama says the approaching "fiscal cliff" is going to add to holiday stress for American families as the end of the year approaches.

Visiting a basement apartment of a family in suburban Virginia, Obama said Americans "are counting on this getting solved." He said he's "optimistic" that there will be an agreement that is good for families and good for the American economy.

He and Congress have until the end of the year to find a way to avert across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases.

Obama is warning that he's willing to let that double whammy take effect if Republicans don't drop their opposition to higher tax rates for the wealthy. He again vowed not to sign any package that doesn't include an increase in the tax rate for the top 2 percent of American earners.

%@AP Links

244-a-11-(President Obama, with reporters at the home of Tiffany and Richard Santana)-"the American economy"-President Obama says he's encouraged by some of the discussion among Republicans. (6 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *244 (12/06/12)>> 00:11 "the American economy"

241-a-11-(President Obama, with reporters at the home of Tiffany and Richard Santana)-"they're gonna be"-President Obama says it's important to reach a deal soon. (6 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *241 (12/06/12)>> 00:11 "they're gonna be"

242-a-10-(President Obama, with reporters at the home of Tiffany and Richard Santana)-"top two percent"-President Obama says the GOP has to stop opposing a tax hike on the nation's wealthy. (6 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *242 (12/06/12)>> 00:10 "top two percent"

APPHOTO VACK104: President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to the media during a visit in Falls Church, Va., Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, to meet with middle class taxpayers to discuss the importance of extending income tax cuts for Americans and small businesses. Counter clockwise from the president are, high school teacher Tiffany Santana, her mother Velma Massenburg, Richard Santana, far left, who works at a local Toyota dealership, and Tiffany's father Jimmy Massenburg. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (7 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO VACK104 (12/07/12)>>