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Obama calls for balanced approach to avoid "fiscal cliff"

Back to work. In his first policy speech since re-election .... U.S. President Barack Obama invited congressional leaders to the White House to start negotiating a deal. One that would prevent the so called "fiscal cliff" of sharp tax hikes and spending cuts from going into effect at the end of the year. While he said he was open to compromise he made clear where he would draw the line. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "If we are serious about reducing the deficit we have to combine spending cuts with revenue and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to spend a little more in taxes." It's part of ongoing battle that plagued the president's first term: Cutting the deficit versus tax reform. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over 250,000 dollars a year are not asked to pay a dime more in taxes. I am not going to do that." Fresh from an election night victory party ... Obama says the country is behind him. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "On Tuesday night we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach and that includes Democrats, Independents and a lot of Republicans as well." Analysts say without action the abrupt fiscal tightening would tip the weak economy into recession.

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