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Fiscal Cliff Talks at Stalemate

Wall Street Journal (12/03/12) Damian Paletta; Patrick O’Connor

Talks between the White House and Republicans to avoid the “fiscal cliff” have gone nowhere thus far. U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says the Republicans will allow $800 billion in tax increases over a decade through the elimination of tax breaks, rather than higher rates. Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the Obama administration is considering changes to Medicare and Medicaid but is waiting first for specific proposals from Republicans. By the end of the year, observers say lawmakers hope to complete a two-step deal that would lock in spending cuts and tax code changes to be implemented in January and overhaul the tax code and entitlement programs by August.