Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Heading into December, when Christmas cookies are sure to cause clouded judgment, and with both sides in Washington already posturing or attempting to sell their “solution” to the public in hopes of gaining support, should Americans be pessimistic about the “Fiscal Cliff” discussions? They are beginning to hit a peak this week.
And, with only weeks to go before an automatic series of spending cuts and tax hikes start, hitting nearly every American, the closck is ticking.
Private talks between President Obama and top Congressional leaders in search of a deal to avoid the year-end “Fiscal Cliff” are accelerating, even as the White House announced a new public campaign Tuesday to ramp up pressure on Republicans to extend tax cuts for the middle class.
Here’s the latestest update summary from the Washington Post:
President Obama will engage in a full-fledged effort this week to force Republicans to agree to freeze tax rates for most Americans while allowing rates to rise on the wealthy, officials said. Events include:
- A White House meeting with more than a dozen small-business owners on Tuesday
- Another White House session Wednesday with wealthy supporters who would be affected by an increase in taxes
- A meeting with big-business executives Wednesday, and
- A trip to a toy-manufacturing company in Pennsylvania on Friday
Obama telephoned House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) over the weekend, a sign that high-level negotiations are advancing.
Boehner, meanwhile, has set up a meeting between top Republicans and Erskine Bowles, a chief of staff in the Bill Clinton administration who also has close ties to Obama’s White House.
Ahead of the Wednesday meeting, GOP aides noted that Bowles offered a debt-reduction plan last fall in line with Republican principles. That plan called for $800 billion in fresh revenue through an overhaul of the tax code and significant spending cuts, including major changes to Medicare and other federal health programs.
Exit question: If both sides agree on a “deal”, does either side necessarily get painted in the public’s eye as having lost?