Of course, any rate increase for Republicans — one that rank-and-file lawmakers could back and defend — would have to come with serious cuts to entitlement programs. And there’s no evidence President Barack Obama and Democrats have given in on any specific entitlement cuts in closed-door negotiations — especially enough to offset a rate change and an increase in the threshold for the rich…

There are numerous problems with the modest tax hikes for entitlement cuts trade off, which GOP Hill aides stressed has not been formally offered yet.

First, Democrats believe they are dealing from a place of strength in these negotiations and are unlikely to give up concessions on entitlement programs without big moves by Boehner.

“We are winning,” said a top Hill Democratic staffer. “We don’t have to give up on anything yet.”