Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday offered a deficit reduction proposal to avert the fiscal cliff at the end of the year, when a slate of damaging tax hikes and spending cuts are set to take effect. Boehner's proposal — consisting of $800 billion in tax revenue from closing unspecified tax loopholes and deductions, and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts — came in response to an offer that President Obama made last week, which included $1.6 trillion in tax revenue (with a tax rate increase for the wealthiest Americans), $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and other entitlement programs, and $50 billion in new stimulus spending. The White House promptly rejected the offer. Income tax rates for the wealthy "have to rise," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "And the Republicans need to acknowledge... that's the only way to get from here to there."
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