President Barack Obama said that a deal to avert the fiscal cliff would not happen without higher income tax rates on the top two percent of earners in his first TV interview since his re-election.

"If we're going to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with the very tough cuts that we've already made and the further reforms in entitlements that I’m prepared to make, then we’re going to have to see the rates on the top two percent go up," the president told Bloomberg television.