White House Offers Up a Deal

White House Offers Up a Deal

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While meeting with congressional leaders at the Capitol on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sketched out the president's plan to reduce the deficit and avoid the fiscal cliff at year's end. Not surprisingly, it looks a lot like Obama’s 2013 budget proposal.

It would trim the debt by about $4 trillion over the next ten years with the following components: $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues, $400 billion in savings from changes to federal health and entitlement programs, spending cuts already in place from last year’s debt ceiling deal, and savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The president's plan delays the automatic across-the-board spending cuts to federal agencies set to take effect Jan 2. for one year. And it includes an additional $50 billion for infrastructure projects meant to boost economic growth. The plan also calls for extending the payroll tax cut, or adopting a similar tax break. - Read more at The Washington Post

  Republicans treated the Obama proposal like it was a joke, immediately rejecting the offer and saying it represented no progress.

“This offer represents a complete break from reality,” a Republican aide told The Hill. “There were only seven weeks between Election Day and Christmas. The White House has now completely wasted three of them. After weeks of negotiations, they just demanded all of their favorite proposals, with no sign of compromise whatsoever.”  - Read more at  The Hill 

OBAMA GOES BACK ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL   Today, the president is traveling to Hatfield, Penn., to tour the Rodon Group, a toy manufacturing company, and deliver remarks suggesting that Republicans are the grinches who could spoil Christmas by not extending low tax rates for 98 percent of the country. The next few weeks will show how smart this bully-pulpit strategy is, since the negotiations are still happening behind closed doors. - Read more at  CNBC

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Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.