The push to raise taxes on the wealthy is becoming even more of a sticking point in the negotiations around the fiscal cliff issue.
Democrats are refusing to consider another patch for the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to keep it from affecting 28 million more people or any type of cut in Medicare reimbursements unless the Republicans agree to raise taxes on the top 2% of wage earners.
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated that once the issue of raising tax rates is agreed upon, the doors would swing open much wider on other issues.
The White House and House Speaker John Boehner seem to be at loggerheads in their efforts to find a solution since neither seems to be willing to budge on the tax-hikes-for-the-wealthy issue.
Boehner keeps broadcasting his opinion that the President’s budget proposal is anything but balanced.
At the same time, he did not rule out a possible House vote on extending existing tax laws for couples making under $250,000 per year.
Reid indicated surprise that the Republicans have not been willing to compromise on raising tax rates since the President has indicated he would look at cutting spending once agreement was reached on raising taxes on the wealthy.
A recent poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News found that more than three quarters of Americans—including 61% of Republicans—would accept raising taxes on the wealthy to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.
Of approximately 1000 respondents to the survey, there was broad-based support
for creating a package that would cause significant discomfort for both sides.
Fewer than three in 10 of those surveyed felt each side should stand ground on the deficit, even if it means going over the cliff. Two-thirds of respondents said the cliff is a serious problem.