For the first time Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has backed off from his maximal position and agreed to Obama’s proposal to raise taxes for America’s wealthiest earners. In exchange for this compromise Boehner wants Obama to agree to large budget cuts in entitlement programs.
Boehner offered to implement a raise in Bush-era tax rates for the country’s highest income tax bracket, those with incomes of $1million or above, starting on the first day of 2013.
Boehner’s movement towards Obama came after a prolonged face-to-face meeting on Thursday at the White House and after an additional phone conversation on Friday. The increase in the number of phone conversations and
meetings, and this development is a sign that the two sides are making progress in their search for an acceptable compromise to avoid a fall from the coming fiscal cliff, although a deal has not yet been formulated.
Although Boehner’s decision represents a significant move on the Republican side, Democrats are still not satisfied because of the amount of revenue, the lack of an extension for unemployment insurance benefits, and the changes to entitlement programs which would adversely affect those on the receiving end. The president is also insisting that there be an upping of the debt ceiling, something Republicans have so far been adamantly opposed to.