Talks resumed on Wednesday between House Speaker John Boehner and the White House about how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff — the automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect in January. But time for a deal is running out. We get the latest on the negotiations.

Todd Zwillich, Washington correspondent for Public Radio International's "The Takeaway"
Peter Coy, Economics Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek
Heidi Przybla, Congressional Reporter, Bloomberg News

  • Adam

    Don’t forget to point out Mitch McConnell’s great flip in the Senate- putting forward a motion on the debt ceiling and then filibustering it when it turned out the Democrats supported it.

  • Bob Fry

    Could one of your experts explain to us why this is such a “cliff”? Taxes revert back to the Clinton era (almost 8 years of surplus budgets and prosperity), Federal spending is cut a massive 3%, the Pentagon takes a bit of a haircut. What’s so bad about this?

  • Guest

    Looks like extending middle class tax cuts and not tackling spending will cost us several trillion in debt. Why is the president insisting only on tax rates for rich which is likely to bring in less than a trillion. Are we simply kicking can down the road? There will never be a perfect day to tackle spending and raise taxes.

  • Libby

    The Republican plan claims to raise revenue by closing tax loopholes and eliminating deductions. Does the plan get specific about the loopholes and deductions they are talking about? I’ve heard rumors about elimination of the mortgage interest deduction. This would affect such a great swath of the middle class. If the Republican plan in fact wants to take away that deduction it seems like the President could get that information out to the public and gain immense public support for his plan.

    • Chemist150

      That’s why they proposed a cap on deductions. It would be across the board. Thus if you fell under the total deductions, it would not hurt mortgage interest deductions. It would be a quick fix with more specific modifications later.

    • Chemist150

      It would likely hit wealthier people more. However, a concern I have is that it may reduce charitable contributions. I would hope it would not affect businesses so they could still donate extra food to food banks, etc. For individuals, it would not be as big an issue given that most “charitable” donations are to churches which is largely not more than to pay the preacher and property taxes before going to other causes. i.e. they are inefficient donations and a lot of it ends up i political donations as tax free money.

  • johannsf

    You’ve said that they have now eliminated the extremists in both parties from the negotiations, but I can’t recall ever hearing an argument from an “extremest” on the left. What is the “extreme” left position?

    • Chemist150

      No cuts and increased spending.

  • Bob Fry

    “$1.2 trillion in cuts” yeah, but that’s over 10 years, right?! That’s a very modest $120 billion a year. I see nothing draconian about any of this.

  • Bob Fry

    Uh, thanks for reading just the first part of my question. I simply don’t understand why raising taxes back to the Clinton era is so bad. I’m middle class, the $600 I got from the Bush tax cuts was useless to me, I really didn’t notice the modest payroll tax cut more recently, I won’t notice if they revert back to before. This whole thing is just another artificially created hysteria, a classic First World Problem.

    Edit: More and more I think it’s the breathless discussion and exaggerated uncertainty about the negotiations that’s the problem, not the taxes and spending cuts themselves.

    • Frank

      Uh, it’s because your taxes go to paying off Wall St’s gambling debts, not to mention debts incurred while military and the military industrial complex were committing war crimes in Iraq, as well as the bloated security apparatus. None of these crooks has failed to notice that they can get suckers (you?) to pay off their debts, nor that this amounts to theft. They get off on it.

  • instead of raising the age for medicare, let’s add a sliding-scale fee for recipients during their first few years of coverage. Something that would be far more affordable than private insurance.

  • Chemist150

    I don’t like how Obama is using the social security tax in support of his position. I want to pay the extra payroll tax because I want the Social Security program to be healthy and I’d prefer not to wait longer to be able to collect. Why is the President hurting Social Security and peoples futures and using it as a weapon against the Republicans by saying that the Republicans will be responsible for raising taxes on the middle class? Raise them please. How can he get away with this? Do people believe that he’s really fighting for the middle class? Why don’t people and the press see that he’s hurting our future Social Security by de-funding it now when it needs to be funded?

  • Guest

    I don’t why Republicans agree to tax hikes? Then they can prove that tax hikes on 2% will not fix our problems and it could be beneficial to them politically.

  • Sunny Valencia

    What about the AMT fix for the end of the year? Any predictions??

  • If these changes are projected over ten years, wouldn’t politicians just reinstate all during that time?

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