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Biden: Tax Rates for Top Earners Have to Rise, But There’s Room to Deal

At a lunch meeting today, VP Biden said that while the Obama administration is firm that tax rates for those in the upper bracket must go up, how high that rate goes is “negotiable.”

From Buzzfeed:

‘There are two irreducible minimum requirements for us,’ Biden said at a lunch with Americans who would be affected by the fiscal cliff. ‘The top brackets have to go up – this is not a negotiable issue; theoretically we can negotiate how far up. But we think it should go – the top rate should go to 39.6%.’

Buzzfeed notes that this is the “first official acknowledgement by the White House that they are not demanding rates rise to the Clinton-era level.”
There’s about three weeks left for flexibility, negotiating and compromising. And that’s counting the holidays.

(Joe Biden via

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3 Responses to Biden: Tax Rates for Top Earners Have to Rise, But There’s Room to Deal

  1. Cujo359 December 8, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    Young Ezra believes that the deal is moving Medicare eligibility to age 67, and restoring most of the pre-Bush taxes on the upper 2% (37 percent rather than 39.6). I tend to believe this, because we’re reading about it as part of the Friday news dump. The other is that this is just the sort of thing the ruling class views as a “compromise”, IOW, mostly giving the rich what they want, rather than entirely.

    • Joyce Arnold December 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      I’ll have a post up about KIein’s piece shortly. I agree with you, Cujo — “I tend to believe this.”

  2. TPAZ December 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    No, Joe, you are wrong. You do not see a man drowning 20 feet away and choose tossing a 15-foot rope to save him between a 15 feet and a 30 feet rope both resting at your feet, because the 30-foot rope is too heavy for you to raise, and then call the fresh corpse unlucky. Joe, you are passively complicit in his death.

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and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong