Okay, first things first: That so-called “fiscal cliff” is more like a “fiscal slope” or “fiscal curb." Or speed bump.
That said, Roll Call is reporting that the GOP is bending on taxes as fiscal speed bump talks begin, and that the impending fake-doomy, scary, catastrophic, omg the world is going to end Cliffageddon can be averted. Apparently, Congressional leaders don't like the looks of the stock market these days, and you know what that means... magically breaking gridlock... sort of:
The four top leaders in Congress all expressed confidence that they could avert the fiscal cliff after Speaker John A. Boehner offered up revenue and Democrats agreed to pursue spending cuts during an hourlong meeting Friday at the White House.
The Ohio Republican told reporters that he proposed a framework for dealing with the cliff that would tie revenue to spending cuts “consistent with the president’s call for a balanced approach.”
Luckily, the "Democratic leader opposes cutting Medicare benefits to strike a deal," meaning Nancy Pelosi is against compromising at the expense of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
Many of us Dems have been very concerned about ideas being floated such as raising the Medicare eligibility age above 65, a policy that is included in Paul Ryan’s Kill Medicare Budget plan. Here's Nancy:
Pelosi hopes the negotiations will yield at least $4 trillion in deficit reduction, although she said she wasn't speaking for everyone. Here's more of what she told reporters after meeting with President Obama and congressional leaders, via The Hill:
"Even if we didn't come out of the room with a solution … we came out with a plan of action, an understanding of what we wanted to achieve, a timetable for how to get it done [and] what would spring from those discussions... Each of us had some idea about how we can get this done in a way that instills confidence even as we proceed down the path."
MSNBC is reporting that Republicans are still very resistant to letting tax cuts for the very rich expire, and that Democrats will still have to make "tough compromises."
So will the tax break number move from those making $250,000 and over to a million and over? And what about Medicare and Medicaid? I'm not feeling as optimistic as I'd like.
And just for good measure, let's remember what GOP idol Ronald Reagan said: “Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.”