John Boehner has finally given in to raising taxes for America's wealthiest citizens for the first time in the ongoing fiscal cliff talks. But it isn't exactly what the President asked for...
Politico first reported the concession Saturday evening, and CNN and the AP confirmed it on Sunday. Apparently Boehner proposed letting tax rates go up for Americans making more than $1 million annually. The President has advocated for tax rates going up for Americans making more than $250,000, so it's not a total submission on Boehner's part. But it is the first time he's given in at all on the idea of raising taxes, and basically everyone is seeing it as a sign progress is being made in the negotiations. (We wish we could say something similar about the NHL lockout. Sigh.)
But, as Politico goes into great detail to explain, there are catches. Boehner wants the President to concede on spending cuts that aren't very suitable to Democrats. How much leverage the Speaker has in the negotiations is questionable, though. It's good that Boehner finally caught up with the wishes of almost everyone else in America, but he's the one playing for his job here. And the guy who breaks first rarely has control over the talks. Maybe if he keeps making more charts the talks will swing in his favor.
UPDATE: A minute after publishing this story, the Washington Post's Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane reported Boehner's also offered to take raising the debt limit off the table for a full year. That's another huge concession from the speaker. Of the few Republicans vocally urging Boehner to raise taxes, most have advocated using the debt limit to hold leverage over the President in 2013 to make him cut spending the way they want.