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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says he is "ready and willing" to get a big package done to deal with the "fiscal cliff" and says there's no reason not to protect middle-class Americans from tax increases.

Obama says he spoke Friday with House Speaker John Boehner and met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He says Congress should pass a plan to extend tax breaks for the middle class and extend unemployment benefits.

Expanded coverage: Fiscal cliff

Obama says no one can get 100 percent of what they want and there are "real consequences" to how they deal with the across-the-board tax increases and steep spending cuts scheduled to kick in Jan. 1. Economists fear the combination could deliver a blow to the U.S. economy.

JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press