WASHINGTON Nov 13 U.S. Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner on Tuesday warned against extending all the
U.S. tax breaks to give Washington additional time to broker a
deficit reduction deal, saying it would create more uncertainty
in the markets.
Seven weeks are left for the Obama administration and
Congress to deal with the so-called fiscal cliff, or $600
billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts that will go into
effect next year and may trigger a recession if Washington does
With lawmakers and the White House bickering over how to put
the country on a sustainable fiscal path, a number of lawmakers
and think tanks have argued for more time.
"That will leave all the uncertainty you don't like on the
table," said Geithner at an event sponsored by the Wall Street
Journal, in his first public comments on the looming fiscal
crisis since U.S. President Barack Obama won re-election last
Earlier, Geithner and Obama met with leaders from the
country's biggest labor unions and liberal groups where Obama
repeated his campaign promise to raise taxes on the wealthiest
and hold tax rates down for those earning below $250,000,
according to attendees.
At the event, Geithner said it was not feasible to reduce
the deficit over the long term without additional revenues.
"If you believe ... we shouldn't be asking middle class
Americans to pay more in taxes, then I don't see how you do this
without higher rates," said Geithner, who is expected to stay
into early next year to help the White House negotiate with
Obama has made an effort to reach out to congressional
leaders since winning re-election and on Friday will meet with
top Democratic and Republican lawmakers to start budget