Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Outlook Cloudy for Fiscal 'Cliff' Deal

Newsmax - More public jousting from both sides in the "fiscal cliff" talks is expected on Wednesday in what has become a daily ritual of mutual "you go first" calls for more specifics in proposals to avert the steep tax hikes and budget cuts set for the end of the year.

On Tuesday the White House and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner traded offers still couched in broad and familiar terms that neither side found sufficiently detailed.

If the public back and forth between Boehner and President Barack Obama reflects what's happening behind the scenes, negotiations to avoid the cliff have a long way to go in the short time remaining in 2012.

Obama and Boehner each have proposed cutting deficits by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years as a way of averting the cliff, but they differ on how to get there. Economists have warned that failure to strike a deal could send the economy back into a recession.

On Tuesday Boehner rejected what the White House viewed as a concession, shrinking the proportion of deficit reduction to come from revenue from $1.6 trillion over 10 years to $1.4 trillion. Boehner has called for $800 billion in revenue through tax reform.

There were also reports, unconfirmed by either side, that the White House has repeated a proposal it made in February to consider reductions in corporate tax rates.