“I think they’re making a little bit of progress,” Geithner said. “They’re clearly moving and figuring out how to try to move further.”

But Geithner said the White House would “absolutely” go over the fiscal cliff — triggering over $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases — unless tax rates increase on the top 2 percent of wage earners. …

Geithner, who is the Obama administration’s lead negotiator in the cliff talks, added that if Republicans are willing to accept higher rates, “we think we can do something really good for the economy. We can make the government use the taxpayers money much more efficiently, lock in some spending savings and do some long-term reforms to entitlements.”