Both President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner have revealed their opening gambits in the great fiscal cliff debate and they are basically starting from the same spot they've been in forever. Boehner held a second press conference on Friday morning to reiterate his position that raising taxes is not acceptable. Obama followed it up with a short White House speech in the afternoon reiterating his position that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes. The president basically admitted that not only should this news not be surprising, it's basically what the entire election was fought over. An election that he won, by the way: "On Tuesday, night we found out the majority of Americans agree with my approach."
But a deal still has to be made, so Obama also announced that he's inviting Congressional leaders (as well as other business and community leaders) to the White House next week to get the ball rolling on negotiations. Obama said, "I am not wedded to every detail of my plan. I'm open to compromise. I'm open to new ideas."
One key detail that was seized upon by some Fiscal Cliff watchers is that Obama, just like Boehner, said he wants to increase "tax revenue," but did say he wants to raise tax rates. That tiny bit of wiggle room, could be the space where a deal is struck. If both sides can come up with a way juggle the tax code to get more revenue out of rich people without raising their actual income tax rates, then both sides might be able to claim a victory when all is said and done.