House Speaker John Boehner told reporters on Thursday that “no substantive progress has been made” on fiscal negotiations after emerging from a private meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday morning.
Boehner said that the president needs to “get serious” about reaching a deal, and put a specific proposal on the table that addresses spending cuts, especially if he wants the debt limit to be a part of the discussion. “All eyes are on the White House;” Boehner said, “the country doesn’t need a victory lap, it needs leadership.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that it was on Boehner to put forward a realistic offer in response to the White House’s proposal to increase tax rates on top income earners.” - Read more at The Wall Street Journal
McMCONNELL CHIMES IN ON FISCAL PESSIMISM Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ok, had a similarly pessimistic tone after meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday. McConnell said that the White House had taken a “step backward” in talks over avoiding the fiscal cliff at year’s end in a statement released after the meeting.
“Today, they took a step backward, moving away from consensus and significantly closer to the cliff, delaying again the real, balanced solution that this crisis requires…. This is a real problem--every day they delay brings us one step closer to the fiscal cliff that we simply must avoid.” The Obama administration has “remained focused on raising taxes and attending campaign-style events with no specific plans to protect Medicare and Social Security or reduce our national debt in a meaningful way.” - Read McConnell’s statement here
TAMMY BALDWIN STICKS IT TO THE RICH Just weeks after winning a hotly contested race against Republican Tommy Thompson, Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, has plunged into the fiscal cliff debate-pressing President Obama to include a minimum 30 percent effective tax rate on Americans earning more than $1 million annually.
On Thursday, Baldwin penned a letter with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., urging the president to consider the Paying a Fair Share Act, Whitehouse’s legislative version of the so called “Buffett Rule” made famous by billionaire investor Warrant Buffett, in fiscal cliff negotiations. - Read more at The Washington Post
CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY Workers at high-paying jobs expecting to receive their bonuses next year might be getting an early Christmas present. Some employers are scrambling to distribute their employees’ bonuses before the end of the year to save some money ahead of massive tax hikes scheduled to take effect on Dec 31.
“It’s one of the few things you can do as an employer that’ll make employees happy that doesn’t cost you anything,” Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates, told The New York Times - Read more at The New York Times
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