(Image source: NPR)

BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN

With heels dug in on both sides — the White House says the ball is in Republicans’ court when it comes to averting the looming crisis known as the fiscal cliff.

Unless lawmakers can come together and work out a deal — a series of severe, self-imposed spending cuts will automatically kick in, hitting defense, Medicare, and jobless benefits to name just a few. (VIDEO VIA WWMT)

Not only that, but most every American will see their taxes go up on January 1st with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Both sides agree the combination of spending cuts and higher taxes will be bad news for the economy.

But they’ve had more than a year to come up with something and not only are they not there yet, but they don’t seem any closer.

VIA ABC: “Talks to avoid the fiscal cliff looming at the end of the month have stalled over taxes for the wealthy and cuts to programs such as medicare.”

The sticking points remain the same: Democrats want tax rates raised for the highest income earners, and Republicans aren’t having it. The White House says Republicans are holding middle class taxpayers hostage by refusing to budge.

As late as Sunday, Republican House Speaker John Boehner maintained, you can raise enough revenue by eliminating deductions rather than raising rates. (VIDEO VIA WAVY)

Which seems incompatible with this, from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner:

GEITHNER, ON CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION”: “If Republicans are not willing to let rates go back up … there will not be an agreement.”

Over the weekend South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham bluntly told CBS quote “I think we’re going over the cliff.”

Which, by the way, Mother Jones’ David Corn reports the White House is reluctantly willing to have happen, because, “If no deal is reached by the end of the month, all the Bush tax cuts — for the rich and not-rich — will evaporate.”

So if Republicans want to keep taxes low — administration officials believe they’d have the upper hand if they just waited til tax rates went up when the Bush tax cuts expire. Then Democrats would force a vote on bringing back the lower tax rates for everyone BUT the wealthiest Americans. Any stalemate after that point, the thinking goes, could be blamed on Republicans. Which COULD work, except The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro suggests...

“But a deadlock ... would also allow the GOP to stand firm on their opposition to any increases in tax rates, and effectively require the Democrats to cooperate with a GOP proposal...”

The president’s continuing to take his fight to the public, on Monday answering questions via Twitter in an effort to rally support for a tax solution that would only preserve tax rate cuts for the middle class.

White House 'Reluctantly' Willing to Go Off Fiscal Cliff?

by Christina Hartman
0
Transcript
Dec 3, 2012

White House 'Reluctantly' Willing to Go Off Fiscal Cliff?

(Image source: NPR)

BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN

With heels dug in on both sides — the White House says the ball is in Republicans’ court when it comes to averting the looming crisis known as the fiscal cliff.

Unless lawmakers can come together and work out a deal — a series of severe, self-imposed spending cuts will automatically kick in, hitting defense, Medicare, and jobless benefits to name just a few. (VIDEO VIA WWMT)

Not only that, but most every American will see their taxes go up on January 1st with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Both sides agree the combination of spending cuts and higher taxes will be bad news for the economy.

But they’ve had more than a year to come up with something and not only are they not there yet, but they don’t seem any closer.

VIA ABC: “Talks to avoid the fiscal cliff looming at the end of the month have stalled over taxes for the wealthy and cuts to programs such as medicare.”

The sticking points remain the same: Democrats want tax rates raised for the highest income earners, and Republicans aren’t having it. The White House says Republicans are holding middle class taxpayers hostage by refusing to budge.

As late as Sunday, Republican House Speaker John Boehner maintained, you can raise enough revenue by eliminating deductions rather than raising rates. (VIDEO VIA WAVY)

Which seems incompatible with this, from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner:

GEITHNER, ON CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION”: “If Republicans are not willing to let rates go back up … there will not be an agreement.”

Over the weekend South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham bluntly told CBS quote “I think we’re going over the cliff.”

Which, by the way, Mother Jones’ David Corn reports the White House is reluctantly willing to have happen, because, “If no deal is reached by the end of the month, all the Bush tax cuts — for the rich and not-rich — will evaporate.”

So if Republicans want to keep taxes low — administration officials believe they’d have the upper hand if they just waited til tax rates went up when the Bush tax cuts expire. Then Democrats would force a vote on bringing back the lower tax rates for everyone BUT the wealthiest Americans. Any stalemate after that point, the thinking goes, could be blamed on Republicans. Which COULD work, except The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro suggests...

“But a deadlock ... would also allow the GOP to stand firm on their opposition to any increases in tax rates, and effectively require the Democrats to cooperate with a GOP proposal...”

The president’s continuing to take his fight to the public, on Monday answering questions via Twitter in an effort to rally support for a tax solution that would only preserve tax rate cuts for the middle class.

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