President Barack Obama said in an interview aired Sunday that he would be willing to compromise on a budget deal, but he stood firm on his proposal to raise taxes on households making more than $250,000 per year.
"I'm, you know, more than happy to work with the Republicans," Obama said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "And what I've said is in reducing our deficits, we can make sure that we cut two and a half dollars for every dollar of increased revenue."
The president said deficit reduction cannot happen without a balanced approach that cuts spending and raises taxes on the very wealthy.
"We've got to make government leaner and more efficient, but we've also got to ask people like me or Gov. Romney - who have done better than anybody else over the course of the last decade and whose taxes are just about lower than they've been in the last 50 years - to do a little bit more," he said.
Obama also faulted Republicans, including GOP nominee Mitt Romney, for refusing to budge on their position against raising tax rates as a way to increase revenues.
"Gov. Romney said he wouldn't take a deal with $10 of spending cuts for $1 of revenue increases. And the problem is the math - or the arithmetic, as President Clinton said - doesn't add up," he said, referring to Clinton's Democratic convention speech last week.
Obama's comments come as Congress faces a looming deadline to reach a deficit-reduction plan by the end of the year in order to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, a massive combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to kick off in January.
The scheduled measures could reduce the federal debt but could also spark a recession with higher unemployment and shrinking GDP, according to a Congressional Budget Office report released last month.
Rep. Paul Ryan, later in the same program, took issue with the president's remarks.
"Well, I had been more than happy to work with him, but he hasn't been acting like that," the GOP vice-presidential nominee said. "You know, what we've learned in this presidency, he says one thing and does another."
Ryan said Obama presented four budgets, "none of which ever, ever proposed to actually balance the budget," and placed blame on the Senate for failing to produce a budget in three years.
"We've passed budgets. We've led," the representative from Wisconsin said. In March, the Republican-controlled House passed Ryan's budget plan, a $3.53 trillion blueprint that includes an overhaul of the nation's tax code and major changes to popular entitlement programs such as Medicare.