In fiscal cliff negotiations, President Obama is now proposing that tax hikes could begin with households earning $400,000, not the $250,000 that he has long called for.
The president's latest position is that tax hikes on wealthy Americans could begin with households earning $400,000, not the $250,000 that he has long called for. He also signaled willingness to support a new way of measuring inflation when calculating yearly cost-of-living increases in Social Security benefits.
Mr. Obama's offer, as summarized in news reports Tuesday morning, also includes backing away from a call for the executive branch to have permanent borrowing authority in an era of chronic deficits. Instead, he is now seeking a deal that raises the US debt limit high enough that it would not need to be revisited by Congress until after the 2014 midterm elections.
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His proposals stir strong opposition from some members of his own party, who hoped for a firmer stand on high-income tax hikes and for stiff resistance to a new inflation gauge for entitlement benefits (a move that would also reduce annual increases in pensions for military veterans and federal retirees).
And, by itself, the Obama offer doesn't move the bargaining into its final stage. House Republican leaders promptly said Obama's moves haven't gone far enough.
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