Obama: “We’re going to have to see rates on the top two percent go up”

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Grace Wyler Dec. 4, 2012, 1:02 PM

President Barack Obama gave his first post-election television interview Tuesday, sitting down with Bloomberg White House correspondent Julianna Goldman to talk about the fiscal cliff.

Obama started off the interview by criticizing the proposal presented by House Republicans Monday, saying that the GOP’s plan is “still out of balance.”

“We’re going to have to see rates on the top two percent go up,” Obama said. “We’re not going to be able to get a deal without it.”

“What the country needs…is an acknowledgment that folks like me need to pay a little higher rate.”

Obama added that he is “happy to entertain” ideas on entitlement reform, but declined to offer specifics on where he might be willing cut social programs like Medicare.

“We are not going to cut our way out of this deficit problem,” he said. “We are going to need more revenues.”

He added that he recognizes Republicans need some guarantees on entitlement reform in order to reach a deal, but suggested that these negotiations should be postponed until after the January 1 fiscal cliff deadline.

Later, Obama warned that Washington gridlock is one of the greatest dangers to the U.S. economy:

“America is poised to take off. Let’s make sure we don’t have a self-inflicted wound because of silly games on Capitol Hill,” Obama said. “Let’s not manufacture another debt ceiling crisis.”

Switching gears, Goldman also asked Obama if he would ever consider bringing on a top business executive to serve in his administration.

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