The Wall Street Journal reports:
President Barack Obama made an opening bid in budget talks with Republicans that calls for a $1.6 trillion tax increase, a $50 billion economic-stimulus program and new power to raise the federal debt limit without congressional approval, a broad set of demands Republicans viewed as a step back in talks to avoid looming tax increases and spending cuts.
The proposal, offered by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as he made a round of meetings with congressional leaders in the Capitol Thursday, calls for increasing tax rates on incomes over $250,000, a one-year postponement of looming spending cuts in defense and domestic programs, and some $400 billion in savings over 10 years from Medicare and other entitlement programs.
So, a $1.6 trillion tax increase, $50 billion in stimulus … and the GOP gets a lousy $400 billion (over 10 years!) from cuts to funding for entitlement programs. Sounds like President Obama is serious about making a deal.