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New information as President Obama and house speaker John Boehner jointly try to chart a course to keep the nation from going off the fiscal cliff.
On Capitol Hill lawmakers are trying to digests speaker Boehner -- latest fallback proposal so called.
Plan believe it calls for an extension of the bush era tax cuts -- -- comes up to one million dollars.
But with thirteen days left to go will lawmakers be able to come to some sort of a deal in time.
Joining us now Fox News political analyst Juan Williams -- want are you an optimist or pessimist on the cliff.
I'm gonna guarded -- -- I think both sides have come quite a ways and I think earlier in the week the optimism actually was all over town much like Christmas spirit.
It has been tempered now as speaker Boehner has gone back.
To the board and gone back to his own Republican troops to say that there is an alternative they don't want him to be in these negotiations if they feel -- -- -- too much.
They can go with the so called plan B it's a bit jargon -- but it basically boils down to a bill that he could.
Put up to a vote on Thursday.
That would allow the Republicans to say they have a plan which is they will allow rates to increase on people that make more than a million dollars.
Well and and what's been the reaction among Republicans to that idea.
Well it's very deal -- interest me because the plan does not.
The sequestration some of those cuts would still be impacted because as part of this plan there and Boehner has not laid out exactly where his cuts would be so.
Some of those severe cuts to for example to the fans -- are still in place John and so you have Republicans.
Who cared deeply about the defense.
You know about that pentagon and defense spending saying no we you know we're not comfortable with that you have others who say.
That we as Republicans have to do something about spending that's what this whole.
Issue really is about confronting and wise speaker Boehner is planned absent.
We're silent on that front one of the complaints that Republicans have is that the president although he has apparently moved.
A little bit on the on the tax -- see you there at last we understand and -- all this is happening in secret but.
Last we understood the president was offering.
Tax hikes on incomes above the 400000.
Dollars that's a bit -- move from 250000.
But the Republican complaint is that he has not offered enough spending cuts.
What's your take.
Wells you know from the the Democrats now this is -- -- the other side as an intriguing perspective.
They think that the president is basically negotiating against himself and has been too quick to.
Do something called change CPI which is to change the consumer price that is the rate of growth for social security and other safety net programs.
Change it -- -- it would slow the growth of spending on those programs this is something the speaker Boehner had requested.
Similarly the president and speaker -- have looked at cuts to other.
You know programs the president has tried to protect veterans benefits to disabled.
But this is something that from the democrats' point of view the president is going to have to pay a political price war but again from the Republican point of view.
When they look at revenue the president and speaker Boehner about 200 billion dollars apart they're not that far -- -- this is the reason for optimism.
But Republicans want this to be a totally balanced effort one -- for one if you have a tax increased it would be matched by spending cuts and right now they're saying.
That the president in fact it has in his planned infrastructure spending.
That exceeds the amount of any tax revenue that's going to be brought in and so they don't like that you mention the political price the president.
Might -- he has been reelected I mean he might do something that angers his baser angers you know Harry Reid the senator something like that but.
He doesn't have to run for election again he he's done so.
You know speaker Boehner it has been suggested if he comes to a deal with the president that his caucus doesn't like you know potentially he could even lose his speakership.
Does the does the president have to be sensitive to Boehner needs in this circumstance.
He does and you know this is an intriguing political dynamic to watch you know about the history of this relationship.
Going back to the last time that they were close to some kind of clip that was with regard to raising that the debt ceiling.
And they tried to establish a grand bargain they've had some really tense and unpleasant.
Relationships in the past now there in -- they've they've had so many meetings in the last few days.
About a dozen medical more than half a business -- -- -- -- But here is where President Obama really needs and I think it's capable of showing leadership.
Helping speaker Boehner to win over.
The strong conservative base that it in his you know contingent in the in the house.
And I think that's what he's tried to do with the CPI because it will be clear that there is blood on the floor on the democratic side the question is how much.
And how far will speaker Boehner be able to go in terms.
Not only allowing tax rates to go up for some folks but -- insisting that you know the rate of the cuts.
And what specific cuts the president has in mind is sufficiently a good deal and that Republicans need to take this deal rather than go over the fiscal cliff.
Where polls indicate.
Voters would largely blame them if Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill could work together maybe Barack Obama and John Boehner and -- We'll see well they -- holiday season you would hope and I think that that's another reason for optimism down these are human beings they wanna go home -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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