Republicans and Democrats proclaim optimism on fiscal cliff deal
November 12th, 2012
08:55 AM ET
1 year ago

Republicans and Democrats proclaim optimism on fiscal cliff deal

(CNN) – Republicans and Democrats alike voiced confidence Sunday that a deal could be struck to avoid tumbling over the so-called "fiscal cliff," though specifics on such a deal remained vague.

The two sides have until the end of the year to negotiate a budget-cutting deal to prevent middle class tax cuts from expiring and massive across-the-board budget cuts from taking effect. Democrats have largely favored raising taxes on wealthy Americans, while Republicans insist the solution comes in cutting federal spending.

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On Sunday, GOP Sen. Bob Corker conceded that wealthy Americans should pay more in taxes, but that the increase should come by closing loopholes rather than raising tax rates. The Tennessee Republican said cuts to entitlement spending would also need to be on the table for Republicans to agree to a deal.

On Friday, President Barack Obama repeated his demand that tax rates on incomes over $250,000 should be allowed to increase, putting him at odds with members of the GOP leadership, including House Speaker John Boehner, who has maintained a hard-line opposition to any tax rate increase, but who says he's open to revenue-boosting changes to the tax code.

Corker said the differences between the president and House GOP were not insurmountable.

"I'm optimistic" on a deal, Corker said on Fox News, adding he thought "a basis for the deal" was in place.

"I think finally, Democrats are willing to accept - and I don't mean this pejoratively, but I think they know that Republicans really are willing to put revenues on the table if we can do it in a pro-growth way, and there is a way of doing that," Corker said.

Retiring Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, agreed that the groundwork for a deal was in place.

"I absolutely believe there is," Conrad said, also on Fox. "Look, you can't settle every detail in these next few weeks. What you can do is agree on a framework agreement."

Obama and Boehner are positioned as the lead negotiators in the fiscal cliff showdown. On Friday, the president invited congressional leaders from both parties to the White House this week to launch talks on finding a solution to the looming tax increases and budget cuts.

One top aide to Obama said Sunday he was encouraged by Boehner's recent remarks on the fiscal cliff.

"I don't want to pre-judge the discussions," David Axelrod said on CBS. "I think that the speaker's comment have been encouraging. And obviously, there's money to be gained by closing some of these –closing some of these loopholes and applying them to deficit reduction."

"I think there are a lot of ways to skin this cat, so long as everybody comes with a positive, constructive attitude towards the task," the former White House official said.


Filed under: Bob Corker • Congress • Economy
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Both sides think they can win.......and neither will.

    November 12, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. v_mag

    The Repugnants are unrepentant. Instead of raising taxes on the rich, as they should be doing, I fully expect that Boehner will introduce a bill to designate all millionaires as members of the American Aristocracy and abolish taxes on them permanently.

    We can then start referring to Mitt Romney as "My Lord Romney" and Sheldon Adelson as "Your Highness".

    November 12, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  3. Stephen

    I don't understand how the Republicans think they can get Obama not to raise taxes on those earning $250K+. The Bush tax cuts will expire at the end of the year – to avoid this, Obama (and the Democrats) would have to actively write legislation extending the tax breaks for the wealthiest. I just don't see that happening...the Republicans have very little leverage to avoid raising taxes on the wealthiest.

    November 12, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  4. John

    Why not cut some and raise taxes on the rich some. This is what most Americans want. Get together and get it done or we will all strat a movement to dump every single one of you that is obstructing a compromise.

    November 12, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    GOP is dead. They better come down to the planet called EARTH. Quash Tea/Coffee party, work for USA and middle Class America. Do not ever sar Repeal Healthcare–justic John Robert is NOT an idiot to upheld it. People love John Roberts now. Election is over–wake up. Do not say no, no, no. Mitch, Eric, Paul–do not be idiots. Long way to go. God bless.

    November 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. dax

    I wish we could just drop off the cliff in a flaming basket :) Let the USA just die already...Wouldn't u, if u was over 200 years old ?

    November 12, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. John, PA

    Here is the only deal the Republicans should make:
    Revise Medicare / Medicaid and cut all tax rates now!
    Only increase any tax rate once unemployment is below 4.3% and the GDP is above 4.0%.

    November 12, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I am constantly amazed of how many people thing $250,000.00 is a lot of money. I am even more amazed that a lot of people think the so called rich aren't paying their fair share. Businesses, that hire the workers, pay a fair salery, pay all the expenses to keep the business running maybe pay for health insurance are also expected to pay more to the government.

    Gargle, when the job creators are gone who will you look to to fund your lifestyle. Maybe you need to look up the story of the Goose that laid the Golden Egg. Somebody has to do the sirty work. But the people voted. Now see if it wil work.

    A while back someone asked on a post who we thought would be the next president. I said I was hoping for intellegence but I was betting on stupid. Stupid won. And you can bet stupid will drag his feet right to the last minute before he caves. Better start planning your own future because stupid doesn't have a clue.

    November 12, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. kevin

    Did you know even if you tax the rich the government will only collect about $80 billion? A drop in the bucket. For over $250,000 dems have raised the capital gains tax to roughly 43% plus the 3.8% for Obamacare. Then you want to raise their income taxes. You also have interest rates so low you can't make any money on your savings or investments. You dems just keep thinking tax, tax, tax, and everything will be fine. If you had any real concern for this country you dems should push the fairtax act as the solution but you are so hung up on the rich and government as santa the bottom will fall out in 2013.

    November 12, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. J'Cincinnati' redd

    Its time to put the fighting and finger pointing away and get a deal done. I for one say that if they cant come to a solution then just let everybody taxes go up,loose about 2m jobs and wait until 2014. We are going to win together or loose together but either way like it or not we are all on the same american team.

    November 12, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Jerry

    We are all in big trouble no matter what. With the next election only 2 years away it is unlikely that politicians from either party will work in the countries best interest. The main goal from each side will be to create the perception that they solved the problem or worst case that its the other party's fault that it was not fixed.

    November 12, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    I am constantly amazed that right wing nuts think you can wage war without any increase in revenue. It further boggles the mind that these same baggers think that tax cuts for the wealthy creates jobs, as it hasn't so far. Everyone needs to help get us out of the near Bush/republican near depression.

    November 12, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. mommanurse

    What about the dozens of businesses in every town that earn greater than 250,000 but are being taxed as individuals. My husbands' small business is one of those. On paper it appears that he earns more than 250K because his business does. But after paying overhead, paying employees, taxes, etc, his salary is well under 100K. That 250,000 is supporting more than him and his family of 5. Why should a small business that is staying alive, but cannot thrive under the current coporate tax code be punished? He has seen tax increases already in the past few years. I am angered each time I hear the 250K number thrown around as if it shouldn't be an issue. For my family and many many more, this will likely be the breaking point. Those businesses will close.

    November 12, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. v_mag

    Ray E. (Georgia) exhibits the classic entitlement mentality of the rich. This attitude goes way back. Remember when kings thought they had a divine right to rule? Same thing nowadays with the rich.

    All those things you bosses complain about paying, like wages, business expenses, and taxes, are costs of doing business. When all those costs are paid, the business owner is left with a tidy sum, meaning that some people have labored to make him rich.

    Sure, he takes a chance by investing in a business. But nobody made him do that. He could have gone to work at Walmart, or lived on the street. It was his decision, and it typically pays off for him. However, he rarely acknowledges that it was the work of his employee that ultimately made him rich. It was also the taxes paid by workers that created the infrastructure that allowed his business to flourish. Why is the rich business person crying about having to pay taxes, when it was taxes that allowed his business to grow in the first place? It's because, when you get rich, you think that it was all your doing and that you are entitled to be rich. Just like kings used to do.

    Well, we got rid of the king about 250 years ago. Rich people can jolly well pay their fair share and quit being shirkers and crybabies.

    November 12, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. v_mag

    The rich guys should have thought about having their taxes increased when they all jumped in behind W and pushed for 2 Asian wars. Who did they think was going to pay for those wars? The poor guys? Who made a bunch of profit on those wars? The same guys who now decry a necessary tax increase!

    When will the Republican Party acknowledge that it is the party of No and the party of No Tax and Spend Like Crazy?

    November 12, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. mansouth

    We need america bring on track. Wealthy made wealth and fortune doing business here. Now, it's time to contribute a portion of that wealth for the land and people.

    November 12, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  17. Larry L

    @Ray E. (Georgia)
    I see you've learner nothing from the election. Calling the President "stupid" might be a clever comment in grade school but not so much for adults. It simply makes you look like another wing nut striking out at anybody but white bigots. Why not try something different this term and work towards helping America rather than repeating Fox News sound bites?

    November 12, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Kirk in michigan

    what happens when the rich stop spending money? you see it now, what happens when the poor and middle class stop spending money? recession, yetbt e rich think they make the world go around

    November 12, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. keybd29

    I am not as sanguine. House Republicans want to raise necessary revenue by closing tax-allowed loop holes available for the wealthy. Democrats in Washington and the media want in actual increase in the tax levy. Only a greater tax bite will suffice to grow federal government and the public's stake holders (votes).

    November 12, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Are Mississippi and Texas going to secede from the U. S.? It has to be hard for them to live in the nineteenth century, and the rest of the country is moving "Forward" in the twenty first.

    November 12, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |