The US is edging closer to the "fiscal cliff".
On Monday the White House turned down a package of tax reforms and spending cuts put forward by Republicans.
A spokesman says the proposal doesn't meet President Obama's promise to raise taxes on the wealthy.
The Republican plan, backed by House Speaker John Boehner, was a counter offer to a blueprint proposed by the US government last week.
It suggests ways to slash US debt by about 2.2 trillion dollars -- 800 billion through new tax revenues over ten years, and 600 billion through healthcare savings, among other cost-cutting measures.
But the White House rejected the plan, saying it was scant on details and showed middle class taxes would have to go UP to pay for better rates for millionaires.
One of President Obama's key campaign promises as he ran for re-election last month was not to extend Bush-era tax cuts for the richest two per cent of US households.
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Producer : Xinhua News Agency