new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that 65 percent of Americans favor raising taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNBC on Wednesday that President Obama is "absolutely" ready to go over the fiscal cliff on Jan. 1 if Republicans won't let tax rates rise on those taxpayers — the wealthiest 2 percent — as part of a deficit-reduction deal. Despite calls from many conservatives for GOP leaders to stand firm against hiking rates, a growing chorus of Republicans is encouraging House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to meet Obama's demand in exchange for deep cuts in federal health and retirement programs. "If there are truly real entitlement reforms that are going to preserve Social Security and Medicare for generations to come, it's going to be very difficult for me to oppose" raising tax rates on the rich, says Rep. Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.).
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