Reports from several sources emanating from the Washington beltway indicate their may be something in the works to settle part of the nation's financial log jam.
Here's the short bullet of what appears to be the first offer to address tax policy. Obama is absolutely insistent on hiking taxes on the wealthy. He will not proceed unless this happens. An offer has been made from Capitol Hill to raise the upper tax bracket to 37.6% instead of the 39.6% proposed by the Obama negotiators. This would be accompanied by elimination of select tax loopholes. This deal would possibly satisfy Obama's demands to tax the rich. Thought just not as much. Plus, the deal would keep tax rates at current levels for middle class Americans.
Obama realizes he has made political statements and campaign commitments to protect the middle class from a tax increase. This deal would maintain the tax brackets for the middle class and give political cover to Obama for a promise kept.
A secondary proposal that has been floated adjusts the income levels within tax brackets. Instead of increasing taxes on all those making $250,000 or more. The new tax increase may start for those making either $350,000 or even $500,000 per year in income.
In essence, there is a move by select members of the Senate and House to broker a deal that would pass both chambers and be worthy of Obama's signature. The real sticking point is what to cut. Other than cutting tax loopholes, there has not been too much traction from negotiators.
The Republicans will require spending cuts be made as a concession to agreeing to a tax increase on the upper incomes. Democrats have been hard line about not cutting entitlements. Republicans may pursue alternative changes to federal policy to produce savings by raising the social security eligibility age. Again, the Democrats would consider this a cut to cut to entitlements and a move out of their comfort zone with the far left.
As time looms and the clock ticks closer to the holidays, the scheduled Congressional break is just days away. However, they could be called back to vote on a final deal. The current tax policy expires and sequestration measures kick in after December 31st.