From Politico Playbook, your go-to source for insider leaks and messaging (December 16 edition, my emphasis):
GAME CHANGE – “Boehner pitches millionaire tax hike,” by John Bresnahan, Jake Sherman and Carrie Budoff Brown: “Speaker Boehner has proposed allowing tax rates to rise for the wealthiest Americans if President Obama agrees to major entitlement cuts … It is the first time Boehner has offered any boost in marginal tax rates for any income group, and it would represent a major concession for the Ohio Republican. Boehner suggested hiking the Bush-era tax rates for top wage earners, including those with annual incomes of $1 million or more annually, beginning Jan. 1 … Obama and Boehner spoke by phone Friday after a lengthy face-to-face session at the White House on Thursday. … Boehner also wants to use a new method of calculating benefits for entitlement programs known as ‘chained CPI,’ which would slow the growth of Medicare and other federal health programs and save hundreds of billions over the next decade [note the framing]. …
At Free Republic, they’re calling this “Boehner caves” (no link for the obvious reason) and they’re right. Boehner has put the knife in the Norquist Pledge. Now it’s Obama’s turn. Will he slaughter his own lamb in return?
What, oh what, is an entitlement-“reforming” NeoLiberal Rubinite to do?
It’s December 17 as this goes live. He’s got exactly two weeks to declare himself. As do you.
White House phones
My thinking is, they both want a deal; they’re just working the parameters to make sure it passes the House and Senate. Too much tax hikage, the R count goes down. Too much entitlement cutting, the D count goes down. So they’re looking for that sweet spot.
Which means — if we get to January 1 with No Deal, it will be a big deal indeed, not to mention a huge win for our side. More here — your Fiscal Cave reference post.
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