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Real 'Deal,' or Media Myth?

11:36 AM, Dec 18, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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CNN reports, "US President Barack Obama offered to back away from his position that tax hikes should begin at $250,000 in annual income, delivering a fresh concession to congressional Republicans as talks to avert the fiscal cliff intensified in Washington."

And the New York Times added this morning, "President Obama delivered Speaker John A. Boehner a new offer on Monday to resolve the pending fiscal crisis — and what may be close to a final deal, which would raise revenues by $1.2 trillion over the next decade but keep in place the Bush-era tax rates for any household with earnings below $400,000."

But in a statement just released by the White House, spokesman Jay Carney signals to deal might be far away:

The President has put a balanced, reasonable proposal on the table that achieves significant deficit reduction and reflects real compromise by meeting the Republicans halfway on revenue and more than halfway on spending from where each side started.  That is the essence of compromise.  The parameters of a deal are clear, and the President is willing to continue to work with Republicans to reach a bipartisan solution that averts the fiscal cliff, protects the middle class, helps the economy, and puts our nation on a fiscally sustainable path.  But he is not willing to accept a deal that doesn’t ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors.  The Speaker’s “Plan B” approach doesn’t meet this test because it can’t pass the Senate and therefore will not protect middle class families, and does little to address our fiscal challenges with zero spending cuts. The President is hopeful that both sides can work out remaining differences and reach a solution so we don’t miss the opportunity in front of us today.

So, no surprise, the White House believes they are being "reasonable" and the Republicans are not, even as Boehner puts forth the so-called "Plan B."

BuzzFeed reports that Boehner's new plan adopts some of Nancy Pelosi's ideas. "Speaker of the House John Boehner's 'Plan B' to avert the fiscal cliff would cut taxes for incomes under $1 million — a higher threshold than the White House demands, but one that had a powerful backer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi," reports BuzzFeed.  

This morning's sudden burst of articles saying that a deal might be close appears only to be a media hubbub over a deal that would unlikely pass the Republican House, if it's even a "deal" at all.

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