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GOP cracks in higher taxes for the wealthy?

House Speaker John Boehner has joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in signaling that the Bush-era tax cuts for 'millionaires and billionaires' – President Obama’s favorite campaign target for additional federal revenues – should be allowed to expire at year’s end.

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House Speaker John Boehner walks to a closed-door meeting with the GOP caucus Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington. Rep. Boehner has indicated a willingness to raise tax rates on the wealthy.

Scott Applewhite/AP

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Is that a crack appearing in Republican opposition to higher tax rates for the wealthy? Are GOP leaders in Congress wobbling in President Obama’s direction as a means of avoiding the “fiscal cliff?”

House Speaker John Boehner, it seems, has joined Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in signaling that the Bush-era tax cuts for “millionaires and billionaires” – Obama’s favorite campaign target for additional federal revenues – should be allowed to expire at year’s end.

As first reported by Politico.com Saturday, Mr. Boehner proposes raising tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, in return for “major entitlement cuts” – reduced cost-of-living increases in Social Security payments and raising the eligibility age for Medicare.

The tax rate numbers differ from Obama’s; the President has wanted to let the tax cut expire for households earning more than $250,000.

FISCAL CLIFF 101: 5 basic questions answered

But as the fiscal cliff looms (automatic tax increases and across-the-board budget cuts), a growing number of Republicans – particularly in the Senate – have signaled a willingness to accept higher taxes for the wealthy.

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