Boehner offers millionaire tax hike in "fiscal cliff" talks: Source
WASHINGTON (AP) - House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner has signaled new movement in "fiscal cliff' talks that had appeared stalled by proposing a tax hike for earners making more than US$1 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said on Saturday.
President Barack Obama, who wants higher top rates for households earning more than US$250,000, has not accepted the offer, this person said. The proposal, however, indicated progress in talks that had seemed deadlocked. The person would only discuss the plan on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.
At issue are expiring Bush-era tax cuts that would automatically vanish on Jan. 1 for virtually every income tax payer if Congress and the president don't act. Steep budget cuts are also scheduled to kick in, unless Congress and Mr Obama agree to forestall them with other deficit reduction measures.
Some have warned the economy's nascent recovery would be reversed by the fiscal cliff. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week that the economy has already been affected by the uncertainty, and also warned that the Fed would not be able to offset the impact of the fiscal cliff.