There are no signs of flexibility coming from either the White House or House Speaker John Boehner after the speaker's meeting yesterday with President Barack Obama.

President Obama at Daimler plant in Detroit (WXYZ TV)

A Boehner spokesman says last week's Republican offer still stands -- and it's an offer that doesn't include higher tax rates on the wealthy.

Meanwhile, an Obama spokesman says there can't be any deal without an increase in those rates.

But spokesman Jay Carney, traveling with Obama to Detroit today, said the president remains optimistic that there can be a deal.

Negotiations continue to center on whether to raise tax rates for the top 2 percent of income earners. Some Republican lawmakers have suggested that the party relent on that issue, in order to win concessions from Obama on changes to benefit programs such as Medicare.

GE chief says action on fiscal cliff can't wait

Business leaders are joining the debate over the "fiscal cliff," emphasizing the need to hammer out an agreement before the end of the year.

The chief executive of GE, Jeffrey Immelt, told CBS that spending cuts alone won't solve the problem, and that "everyone knows we need revenue" as part of the deficit-cutting plan.

Immelt, who heads the presidential advisory council on competitiveness, says there are millions of workers whose lives are "in flux" because of the uncertainty over whether taxes will go up in January. He says, "This is incredibly critical we get this done now."


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)