John Boehner Reportedly Willing To Move on Taxes





Fiscal Cliff Talks - IllustrationBreakthrough?

Negotiations between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama have reportedly heated up in recent days after Boehner offered some give on the subject of higher taxes for the nation's wealthiest people.

According to multiple sources, Boehner has offered two concessions in recent days:

1) Higher tax rates for those who make over $1 million per year

2) The pushing back of the battle over the federal debt ceiling for a year

According to sources, John Boehner has proposed letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those who make over $1 million per year. In return, Boehner is asking for substantial cuts to entitlement programs.

The White House reportedly rejected Boehner's latest offer because it wouldn't raise enough revenue or extend emergency unemployment benefits. Having said that, the move on tax rates for those making over $1 million is seen as significant and has created some optimism moving forward.

Boehner's proposal to raise tax rates on millionaires would reportedly generate $460 billion over the next ten years. In addition, Boehner is still calling for a rewrite of the tax code that would limit deductions and "other tax breaks".

As mentioned, Boehner is asking for significant changes to entitlement programs, including the introduction of a "more realistic measure of inflation" that would reportedly save between $200-$300 billion over the next decade. This more realistic measure of inflation is called the chained consumer price index, or chained CPI. Social security checks, for instance, are indexed to inflation to keep up with cost-of-living increases. The introduction of the chained CPI calculation would restrain the amount that government payouts would increase every year.

In regards to the automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to take place, many expect that these cuts will be pushed back a year as well.

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It appears as though progress is being made, but there is still much work to be done.

For instance, President Obama has said that the Bush tax cuts should expire for anyone making over $250,000. The Republicans, it appears, are willing to move off of their "absolutely tax no increases" stance as long as significant entitlement program cuts are made. Is there a middle ground in the $500,000 income range?

Can the two sides agree on raising the debt ceiling, at least for another year? Will the automatic spending cuts be pushed back? What about emergency unemployment benefits? What kind of entitlement program cuts will the Democrats agree to?

There should be plenty of negotiation in the coming week, as time is running out to do a deal.

Source: Reuters.com - Analysis: Boehner opens doors to tax hikes, shifts fiscal cliff talks




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