“A willingness by [GOP] leadership that rates have to go up on the top 2 percent [of earners] would potentially move us more quickly towards the achievement of a deal, but that has yet to happen,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday.
Earlier, Obama had rejected Boehner’s offer to transfer an extra $800 billion to the federal government by cutting back tax breaks leveraged by the top 20 percent of earners.
The Friday offer is yet another risk by Boehner, who is facing increased public pressure from small-government conservatives to reject Obama’s demands for more tax revenue.
But it also mollifies several GOP senators who have called for concessions to Obama’s demands, and helps counter Democrats’ claims that the GOP favors the wealthy.
Establishment media reports magnify that claim into a narrative that many voters believe, even though many of Obama’s policies have favored the post-industrial entrepreneurs that gather in the Democratic Party.
These wealthy Democrats profit from Obama’s effort to regulate numerous sectors of the economy on behalf of the environment, health care or education. They include many moneyed Americans in Silicon Valley, Wall Street and Hollywood, as well as the media, legal and academic sectors.
The GOP’s media-magnified image as the party of the wealthy hurt turnout by otherwise sympathetic middle-class voters in Ohio and other Midwestern states, helping Obama win in November.
The “fiscal cliff” refers to the scheduled and synchronized arrival of tax increases and spending cuts that would remove an extra $500 billion from the U.S. economy in 2013, and could shock the already weak economy into another recession.