US political parties remain at odds over raising taxes

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US political parties remain at odds over raising taxes

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The US Congress reconvenes this week after the Thanksgiving holiday with time running out to reach a compromise over fiscal planning.

But while the December 31 so-called “fiscal cliff” deadline approaches there is little sign of flexibility.

Republicans remain steadfastly against tax hikes for the very rich while Democrats are adamant spending cuts alone wont work.

Impatience among voters is growing.

“The idea of a fixed agenda before you even come to Congress which the Republicans have done, is so ill-conceived. So, my hope is that they leave some of this ego at the door and do the country’s business,” said protester Ann Hymes.

If by the end of December no agreement is reached various draconian fiscal measures come into effect. Opinion polls indicate 77 per cent of Americans believe they will suffer if that happens and the Republicans will get more of the blame.

The remedy preferred by two-thirds is the Democrat mix of spending cuts and tax increases to get the economy going.

Euronews correspondent Stephan Grobe said: “For all intents and purposes, talks to avert the fiscal cliff seem to have barely progressed. President Obama is expected to hit the road this week to drum up public support for his proposal. The idea is to put additional pressure on Republicans in Congress.”