Obama expects immigration reform 'very soon' after inauguration
From LA Times
From The Nation
Progressives have plenty of reason to be concerned about the upcoming fiscal cliff negotiations. There was the ugly “grand bargain” Obama reportedly agreed to in 2011, which would have kept all of the Bush tax rates while raising $800 billion in unspecified tax code simplification (yes, this is basically the Romney plan) while cutting deeply from domestic spending, Medicare and Social Security. And even in recent days, top Democrats like Senator Chuck Schumer have been saying they would be willing to “compromise” on the Bush rates, and leave them alone while raising revenue elsewhere.
But the White House is apparently tossing down the gauntlet—on taxes and entitlement cuts. Wednesday morning, The Washington Post reported that Obama’s opening bid on taxes is to raise $1.6 trillion in revenue, via not only the expiration of the Bush rates on earners over $250,000 but also the Buffet Rule, the restoration of the estate tax to 2009 levels, deduction limits and closing tax loopholes.
And at the White House on Tuesday, Obama, Vice President Biden and the president’s economic team met with a coalition of liberal groups and assured them the administration would hold the line on both taxes and protecting safety net beneficiaries, according to several attendees interviewed by The Nation.
“I was actually very pleasantly surprised. I feel like I was not expecting it to be a particularly good meeting,” said one attendee. “I feel like the president was extremely committed on the tax issues, in kind of ‘throw-down mode’ on those.”