What's on the table now in 'fiscal cliff' talks

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 20, 2012 at 8:34 am •  Published: December 20, 2012
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In addition, taxpayers, especially low- and middle-income families, would pay more because of changes in the way that tax brackets are adjusted for inflation.

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MEDICARE

Obama continues to reject Republicans' plan to raise the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67. Boehner now says raising the eligibility age is not essential to a deal.

Obama wants to limit cuts in Medicare and other health care programs to about $400 billion over 10 years; Republicans want to overhaul Medicare to save even more money.

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DEBT LIMIT

Obama wants a deal that would raise the amount the government is allowed to borrow to cover the next two years, to avoid another debt showdown with Congress until after the 2014 midterm elections.

Previously, Obama had demanded permanent authority to increase the debt ceiling without congressional approval. Republicans want Congress to be part of the decision-making process so they can demand budget-cutting in exchange for additional borrowing.

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OTHER TAXES

Obama and Boehner both propose raising taxes on dividends and capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Both sides would reduce the number of deductions and exemptions that wealthy taxpayers can claim.

Obama would also let estate taxes revert to a 45 percent rate, after the first $3.5 million of an estate is exempted. Boehner backs a plan for a 35 percent rate and $5 million exemption.