The U.S. economy is not likely to slip back into recession but letting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire is necessary to show commitment to cutting budget deficits, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said yesterday.


In appearances on several Sunday talk shows, Geithner said only 2 to 3 percent of Americans — those making $250,000 or more a year — will be affected when tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush end on schedule this year.


Republicans want to extend the tax cuts and Democrats are divided but Geithner said reductions for top earners should end.


“We need to make sure we can show the world that [we’re] willing as a country now to start to make some progress bringing down our long-term deficits,’’ he said on ABC’s “This Week” program.