Has the “logjam been broken” on the fiscal cliff? Yes, says Major Garrett, now at CBS News, although a deal hasn’t been finalized. His sources at the White House says that the phone call between Barack Obama and John Boehner on Friday night was more successful than previously reported, although from Garrett’s report, the progress sounds a little one-sided:
“All sides are talking to each other on a continuous basis,” Garrett reports. “There is no more positioning.” Garrett reports that the White House believes a deal can be reached by mid-week — which, not coincidentally, would be just enough time for Congress to write up the legislative language necessary to pass it by Christmas.
So what would this deal entail? According to Garrett, the predictable elements will be:
- Hike in marginal tax rates for those earning $1 million or more a year
- Entitlement cuts of ~$1 trillion over the next ten years
- A one-year hike in the debt limit
Presumably, we’d also have the AMT fix applied –again — and the sequestration issues resolved, at least to some extent. If so, let’s just remember that this deal has been obvious for the last two years, and certainly since the election which both sides thought would bring them total victory on these issues.