Talk of Compromise as Policymakers Dig in Their Heels

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Ahead of bipartisan talks addressing the nation's fiscal outlook, President Obama and House Speaker Boehner each emphasize their lines in the sand on the best way to address taxes, demonstrating that words supporting a compromise might be nothing more than that. Obama invites the bipartisan congressional leadership to the White House Nov. 16, but also urges the House to immediately clear a Senate-passed bill (S. 3412) that would extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates only for families earning less than $250,000. Meanwhile, Boehner maintains his opposition to raising tax rates, citing an oft-quoted study from Ernst & Young that raising the top two tax rates would cost the economy more than 700,000 jobs. Analysts say neither Obama nor Boehner brought anything new to the table, while congressional leaders defended their positions.

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