President Obama Takes Tax Cut Pitch Outside D.C. - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

President Obama Takes Tax Cut Pitch Outside D.C.

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President Barack Obama is urging Congress to pass an extension of tax cuts for middle class families, saying a tax increase for them would be like a "lump of coal" for Christmas.

In his first campaign-style event to sell his solution on the "fiscal cliff," Obama says in the Philadelphia suburbs that Republicans should extend existing Bush-era tax rates for households earning $250,000 or less, while allowing increases to kick in for the wealthy.

He says both sides need to "get out of our comfort zones" to reach an agreement.

He toured a manufacturing facility that builds construction toys, joking that he's keeping his own "naughty and nice list" for Congress and urging the public to pressure lawmakers to pass the tax cut extension for the middle class. 

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama's proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff by boosting revenue by $1.6 trillion over the next decade would be a "crippling blow" to the economy and leave the nation's debt problems unresolved.

He says bargaining between administration officials and congressional leaders has gone "almost nowhere."

Even so, the Ohio Republican said Friday that he wants to continue working with the president to avoid hundreds of billions in tax increases and spending cuts that will begin in January unless negotiators find a way to head them off.

In visits on Thursday to congressional leaders, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented the administration proposal. Besides tax boosts, it also called for fresh spending to help the jobless, and savings next year from benefit programs. (AP)

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