Signs point to Republicans relenting on tax rates
A small but growing group of Republicans say the party should perhaps accede to President Barack Obama’s demand for higher tax rates for top earners so that the attention can shift to making serious cuts in beneffit programs like Medicare and Med- icaid, a top Republican senator said Sunday.
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, a member of the Banking Committee who has presented a defficit-reduction plan of his own, said on “Fox News Sunday” that if Republicans gave in to the president’s chief demand, then “all of a sudden, the shift goes back to entitlements and maybe it puts us in a place where we actually can do something that really saves the nation.”
Within hours of Corker’s comments, Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met privately at the White House for negotiations. Administration offcials would not ofler details of the discussion.
The disclosure of the meeting, however, indicated that private discussions continue in the face of Repub- lican leaders’ public statements decrying the lack of progress and the president’s refusal so far to specify the sort of deep, long-term reductions in spending for Medicare and other social programs that they insist upon as a condition of their support for raising taxes on high earners.
The White House and