fiscal cliff

John Boehner Proposes Tax Hike for Millionaires

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) speaks during a news briefing March 29, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Boehner said he will have enough votes to pass the budget proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sources tell Politico (and confirm to CNN) that John Boehner has offered to raise marginal tax rates on those earning $1 million or more as part of ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama. That’s way more than the $250,000 threshold Obama wants, but a willingness to let taxes on even the very wealthy rise is a major concession for Boehner. However, despite this sign of progress, the overall proposal will not read as acceptable to Obama quite yet. In exchange for the tax hikes, Boehner is asking for deeper cuts in entitlement spending than the Democrats are willing to consider, including raising the eligibility age for Medicare and switching to a lower inflation figure to slow Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. Boehner’s latest offer also will not allow the extension of federal unemployment benefits. “The lines of communication remain open,” Boehner’s spokesman said, referring to a “frank” 50-minute White House meeting between his boss and Obama on Thursday. “But there is no agreement, nor is one imminent.” It does, however, seem to be getting a little closer.