Report: Boehner, Obama Close to “Fiscal Cliff” Deal that would Raise Tax Rates on Americans Earning more than $400,000; Despite $16 Trillion Debt, “Deal” would only raise $1.2 Trillion in Revenue over 10 Years – 12/18/12

The New York Times is reporting that House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama are ‘close” to agreement on a deal to avoid going over the so-called “Fiscal Cliff.” The deal apparently involves a tax rate increase on Americans making $400,000 or more with some spending cuts over the next ten years. That’s right – ten years. While some kind of deal may be reached that many in Washington will hail as an accomplishment, the reality is that they are not even scratching the surface of dealing with the massive $16 Trillion National Debt or the more than $1 Trillion annual budget deficit. The deal would not seriously tackle the real driver of deficit spending – entitlements:

NEW YORK TIMES: President Obama delivered to Speaker John A. Boehner a new offer on Monday to resolve the pending fiscal crisis, a deal that would raise revenues by $1.2 trillion over the next decade but keep in place the Bush-era tax rates for any household with earnings below $400,000.

The offer is close to a plan proposed by the speaker on Friday, and both sides expressed confidence that they were closing in on a major deficit-reduction plan that could be passed well before January, when more than a half-trillion dollars in automatic tax increases and spending cuts would kick in.

Senior Republican aides said the speaker was to meet with House Republicans on Tuesday morning to discuss the state of negotiations. But they cautioned that obstacles remained.

“Any movement away from the unrealistic offers the president has made previously is a step in the right direction,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner. “We hope to continue discussions with the president so we can reach an agreement that is truly balanced and begins to solve our spending problem.”

The two sides are now dickering over price, not philosophical differences, and the numbers are very close. . . . Read More

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