House Speaker John Boehner is apparently giving in to the Democrats, as well as fellow Republicans, agreeing to a millionaire tax hike.
Boehner, who has staunchly refused to consider any tax hike on the wealthy, has reportedly proposed raising tax rates on people making more than $1 million according to Fox News. President Obama wants a higher tax rates for those earning more than $250,000, but the latest proposal indicates at least some movement towards a fiscal cliff deal that has been stalled for days.
Boehner has come under attack by members of his own party in recent weeks. In November, Digital Journal reported that Bill Kristol, a Fox News commentator, appeared on Fox News Sunday and said:
"You know what? It won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires. It really won't, I don't think. I don't really understand why Republicans don't take Obama's offer to raise taxes for everyone above $250,000."
Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss stated:
"'I care more about my country' than Norquist and a no tax hike pledge."
Another Digital Journal report stated Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker, along with GOP Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and John McCain of Arizona, also broke party lines, rejecting the no tax hike idea.
According to Politico, Boehner and President Obama met at the White House on Thursday to discuss negotiations. They also spoke by phone on Friday. Those discussions, and the fact that this is the first time Boehner has offered any tax hike as part of a fiscal cliff proposal, may signal progress towards a deal, and certainly indicates a softening of Boehner's anti-tax increase stance.
Part of Boehner's deal also asks for a long-term increase in the eligibility age for Medicare, as well as for a lower costs-of-living adjustment for Social Security recipients. The President has already proposed roughly $600 billion in spending reductions over the next 10 years, including $350 billion in Medicare and other health care savings. He has insisted however that any deal aimed at avoiding the fiscal cliff would have to include a tax hike on the wealthy.