PELOSI: Well, it's the urgency, but I think that the spirit at the table was one of everybody wants to make the best effort to get this done. Hopefully that is possible. Hopefully it is possible by the middle of December, so the confidence of the markets and, most importantly, the confidence of the consumers returns to infuse our economy with -- with demand, which creates jobs.
RADDATZ: You said afterwards there would be these milestone of success. How would that work? What are the goals? Are there interim goals?
PELOSI: Well, my suggestion was that we, at some point -- not necessarily today -- decide on what our goal is in terms of the amount of deficit reduction that we can achieve, some date by which we'd like to do it -- the middle of December, so this doesn't take us up to Christmas -- some milestones along the way so that progress can be demonstrated that we're moving in a forward direction.
RADDATZ: I spoke to Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado earlier this week at the Atlantic Ideas Festival, and he said this really comes down to Speaker Boehner and President Obama. So what do you see your role?
PELOSI: Well, we have to have the votes in order for something to pass. I think Speaker Boehner and Mitch McConnell and Senator Reid and I would all agree that we have to have something that will pass both houses that the president will sign. And so, you know, really, what is important is getting the job done.
RADDATZ: Well, let's talk about the details. The focus does seem to be on the revenue side of this. Your side is insisting on tax rate increases, but have you seen any indication that the Republicans are open to raising rates?
PELOSI: Well, they have said that they know that revenue has to be on the table. And that is why I have said, when we talk about revenue, what are we talking about? Are we talking about closing loopholes? Are we talking about raising rates? Are we talking about both?
And they're talking about entitlement restructuring. What does that mean? If that means harming beneficiaries, I don't think that that's such a good idea.
RADDATZ: Could you accept a deal that does not include tax rate increases for the wealthy? We've seen talk about a possible compromise that would leave rates the same, but cap deductions for high-income earners. Is that something that's acceptable?
RADDATZ: Not at all? No way?
PELOSI: Well, no, I mean, the president made it very clear in his campaign that there is not enough -- there are not enough -- what you just described is a formula and a blueprint for hampering our future. You cannot go forward -- you have to cut some investments. If you cut too many, you're hampering growth, you're hampering education, our investments for the future.
So just to close loopholes is far too little money, if it's -- and it could be they have said they want it to be revenue-neutral. If it's going to bring in revenue, the president has been very clear that the higher-income people have to pay their fair share.
RADDATZ: I know you're optimistic about this and confident this will happen, but last week on the show with George Stephanopoulos, Senator Patty Murray said she thought if you don't have a deal by December 31st, we should just fall into the fiscal cliff, fall off the fiscal cliff.
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