Barack Obama will drop in on a middle-class family's Northern Virginia home today, in a campaign stunt designed to drive home the pain such families would feel if their taxes rise next year. The family is one of more than 100,000 to respond to a Twitter request for stories about the impact the hike might have, Reuters reports. Obama employed a similar tactic during the payroll tax holiday debate. In other fiscal cliff news:
- While Obama's trip is intended to drive home the damage going over the cliff might cause, Tim Geithner told CNBC yesterday that the administration was "absolutely" ready to do that if the GOP didn't agree to let tax cuts for the top 2% of earners expire.
- Many Republicans appear to be softening on that point, saying they'll accept tax hikes if they come with entitlement cuts, the Washington Post reports. "Quite frankly, some people in this 2% who call me, they're more worried about the fiscal cliff than about the rates going up," one rep said.
- In another sign that the GOP is eager to deal, House Republicans were falling over each other to heap praise on and express support for John Boehner during a closed-door meeting yesterday, the New York Times reports. If Boehner no longer needs to fear a mass conservative defection, as he did in the last round of budget talks, it might free his hand in negotiations.
- But don't expect a deal to come too quickly. The AP points out that the Dec. 31 deadline isn't as ironclad as it looks. The Obama administration can put off tax hikes and spending cuts, then retroactively void them once a deal is reached.
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