Retirement Benefits

GOP Wants Obama Plan for Entitlement Reform

Necessary part of avoiding fiscal cliff

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Negotiations to avert the year-end "fiscal cliff" advanced at a glacial pace Wednesday, with a dispute over how to tackle the soaring cost of federal retirement programs emerging as the latest roadblock to progress.

Democrats complained that Republicans have yet to name their price for enacting legislation that would preserve tax cuts for the vast majority of Americans next year while raising revenue from the wealthiest 2 percent.

Republicans, meanwhile, insisted that it is up to President Obama to offer a plan to restrain the cost of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — the government's biggest and fastest-growing programs — in exchange for GOP concessions on taxes.