Signs Of A Fiscal Cliff Deal Coming Together?
President Obama made a new offer in the fiscal cliff negotiations that may be a signal that the parties are moving closer to a deal:
WASHINGTON — The White House made a new offer to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. The proposal matches the amount of spending cuts with revenue-raisers, calls for two stimulus measures and seeks an avoidance of a debt limit fight for the next two years.
The details of the offer were sent to The Huffington Post on condition of the source’s anonymity.
The White House has moved off of its initial and second revenue demands of $1.6 trillion and $1.4 trillion respectively. As of now, the president would be fine raising $1.2 trillion in revenue. He also is no longer insisting that taxes increase on families with income above $250,000. Instead, he is calling for a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts for incomes of less than $400,000.
To meet the $1.2 trillion revenue goals, the White House proposal calls for limiting the tax benefit of itemized deductions to 28 percent for taxpayers. It would return the estate tax to 2009 parameters, which would mean that estates worth more than $3.5 million would be taxed at a 45 percent rate.
The compromise on revenue may be difficult for some in the president’s own party to swallow, though few would have imagined the White House scoring such a victory just one year ago. The spending cuts in the new proposal could be a harder sale.
In his latest offer to Boehner, the president proposes $800 billion in savings, including $290 billion in interest savings and $130 billion in savings that would come from an adjustment to the inflation index for Social Security benefits. The administration insisted that there would be “protections for most-vulnerable populations” perhaps by indexing the changes so that they don’t affect those with low-income.
The move on the tax on Social Security fronts is probably the most significant. Where it goes from here is unclear, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new offer from the Republican side some time tomorrow.