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Obama insists on tax hike for rich as part of fiscal deal

Fresh from winning a second term in office U.S. President Barack Obama said he is willing to work with Republicans to avert a fiscal calamity at the end of the year. In his weekly address he said that a tax increase for the rich must be part of any bargain. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "Now, I'm open to compromise and new ideas. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes." The so-called "fiscal cliff" of steep government spending cuts and tax increases due to be implemented under existing law in early 2013 may cut the deficit, but economists warn it also could tip the economy back into recession. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "Now we need a majority in Congress to listen - and they should start by making sure taxes don't go up on the 98% of Americans making under $250,000 a year starting January 1. " Obama invited congressional leaders to the White House next Friday and will hold a news conference Wednesday.

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