Locked in trillion dollar tax revenue increase.
Promises, promises on spending cuts.
According to the frequently wrong but always wonkish-proclaiming Ezra Klein, this is where the Boehner-Obama negotiations are heading:
Boehner offered to let tax rates rise for income over $1 million. The White House wanted to let tax rates rise for income over $250,000. The compromise will likely be somewhere in between. More revenue will come from limiting deductions, likely using some variant of the White House’s oft-proposed, oft-rejected idea for limiting itemized deductions to 28 percent. The total revenue raised by the two policies will likely be a bit north of $1 trillion. Congress will get instructions to use this new baseline to embark on tax reform next year. Importantly, if tax reform never happens, the revenue will already be locked in.
On the spending side, the Democrats’ headline concession will be accepting chained-CPI, which is to say, accepting a cut to Social Security benefits. Beyond that, the negotiators will agree to targets for spending cuts. Expect the final number here, too, to be in the neighborhood of $1 trillion, but also expect it to lack many specifics. Whether the cuts come from Medicare or Medicaid, whether they include raising the Medicare age, and many of the other contentious issues in the talks will be left up to Congress….
As is always the case, the negotiations could fall apart, or the deal could change. But right now, the participants sound upbeat, surprised at how quickly the process has moved from evident disaster to near-agreement, and fairly comfortable with where they think they’ll end up.
I’m all through with promises, promises now
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