WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the Obama administration is "absolutely" ready for the economy to go over the "fiscal cliff" rather than accept a budget deal that doesn't include higher tax rates for top earners.
Geithner says the administration thinks budget deficits are so large that they can't be closed without boosting tax rates on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Most Republicans oppose higher rates for any taxpayers.
He also says in an interview on CNBC that the administration would reject a budget plan that didn't include an increase in the federal borrowing limit. That limit is expected to expire early next year.
Geithner says he still thinks progress is being made in the budget negotiations and that the outlines of an agreement are becoming clearer.
"They look inevitable," he says.