Boehner: I'll Tax the Rich —if Obama Budges Too
House speaker concedes on taxes for the first time
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2012 4:16 PM CST
In this Nov. 16, 2012, file photo, President Barack Obama acknowledges House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio while speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(Newser) – John Boehner inched toward President Obama's position in fiscal cliff talks by offering to increase taxes on the richest Americans—his first concession on marginal tax rates. That would affect at least those earning $1 million or more, sources tell Politico. In return Boehner wants to curb the growth of Medicare and other health programs, but he won't allow extending federal unemployment benefits. That brings Boehner and Obama closer but still miles apart on government revenue: Boehner's new proposal brings him from $800 billion up to $1 trillion, while Obama is holding steady at $1.4 trillion.

Worse, the two are worlds apart when they talk, reports the New York Times. Obama tends to take up 90% of the conversation trying to persuade Boehner, which the speaker considers "an enormous waste of time," says an aide. And Obama has said he could have cut a deal with Bob Dole or Newt Gingrich—or even Boehner, if he "had more control of his caucus." Meanwhile Senate Republicans are considering taking matters into their own hands, by sending a bill to the House that maintains Bush-era tax rates for all but the richest 2% and boosts taxes and dividends on capital gains from 15% to 20%.

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Dec 18, 2012 6:43 AM CST
Elohssa - Would that be George H or George W? Interesting stats you give, this 'all previous Pres' stat, I guess that really takes into account the rising cost of living and rising GDP. "Federal debt started to increase after the Crash of 1929, and rose above 40 percent in the depths of the Great Depression. Federal debt exploded during World War II to over 120 percent of GDP, and then began a decline that bottomed out at 32 percent of GDP in 1974. Federal debt almost doubled in the 1980s, reaching 60 percent of GDP in 1990 and peaking at 66 percent of GDP in 1996, before declining to 56 percent in 2001. Federal debt started increasing again in the 2000s, reaching 70 percent of GDP in 2008. Then it exploded in the aftermath of the Crash of 2008, reaching 102 percent of GDP in 2011. Federal debt has breached 100 percent of GDP twice since 1900: during World War II and in the aftermath of the Crash of 2008". But, of course, The Great Depression, World War II and the crash of 2008 are all Obama's fault,huh? In the face of these statistics the answer is to give tax refunds? To reduce revenue? Especially to reduce it for those top 0.1% who currently pay less than half (as a percentage) of what they paid 30 years ago.Now that's for the ones who pay their taxes, it doesn't include those who use the many and varied 'legal loopholes' for avoiding their civic responsibility.
Dec 17, 2012 8:00 AM CST
Bonehead, taxes are going up on teh rich, you have no chips on the table to bargain with for that.
Dec 17, 2012 7:36 AM CST
Sorry Bohner your not in a position to deal, the Bush tax cut fiasco is over without Obama even returning your phone calls. The American people have spoken and you and your party are on the losing side of history. You are powerless to pick and choose options it's over your a beaten man with a uncertain future.