Up until the change, Boehner had rejected a rise in tax rates as a way to raise $1 trillion in new revenue over 10 years. Instead, he recommended eliminating tax deductions, credits and loopholes – though refused to say which ones – or capping deductions at a set maximum. Many economists say there is no way to raise that much new revenue through these steps without eliminating or reducing middle-class tax deductions such as the home mortgage interest deduction.
Obama's approach would extend the Bush-era tax cuts on the middle class but allow the top two income tax rates of 35 percent and 33 percent to rise to what they were under President Bill Clinton, 39.6 percent and 36 percent. A majority of Americans support this, and Boehner can read the polls.
For a deal to happen, Democrats will have to accept some adjustments to the cost of Medicare and Medicaid.
Boehner's acceptance of some tax rate rise demonstrates that there is some give-and-take going on. His proposal of raising tax rates on incomes over $1 million would raise an estimated $269 billion over 10 years. That would be a start, and it is a signal to keep talking.
Tampa Bay Times