ABC News reports:
President Obama’s lead negotiator in the ‘fiscal cliff’ talks said the administration is ‘absolutely’ willing to allow the package of deep automatic spending cuts and across-the-board tax hikes to take effect Jan. 1, unless Republicans drop their opposition to higher income tax rates on the wealthy.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in an interview with CNBC that both sides are ‘making a little bit of progress’ toward a deal to avert the ‘cliff’ but remain stuck on Obama’s desired rate increase for the top U.S. income-earners.
Obama and Boehner had a phone conversation yesterday afternoon. “Frosty” is how the ABC report describes the relationship between Republicans and Democrats related to the “fiscal cliff” both sides built. They needed a new crisis and scary talking point. “Debt ceiling” is just dated, you know?
And both sides seem fond of claiming the other is “not serious.” Since they’re talking about how to address the latest DC scheme of distraction, being “serious” probably is a challenge.
House Republicans proposed a $2.2 trillion deficit resolution reduction package, which they say will increase tax revenues but, of course, without raising tax rates. The Obama proposal calls for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues, mostly by raising rates on those at the top.
According to an NPR report, the White House seems to be suggesting that Mr. Obama won’t sit down and talk until the Republicans “cry uncle” on tax rate increases. Republicans are making the argument again that Obama’s re-election doesn’t mean he has a mandate.
So the drama continues, as the Two Party Front for the Oligarchy approaches their mutually constructed “fiscal cliff,” with big roles for “Doomsday” and “Grand Bargain” scenarios, and much talk about the need (for the other side) to get “serious.”