Dems signal Obama flexibility on spending in talks
WASHINGTON – Republican House Speaker John Boehner is offering to let taxes rise on wealthy Americans' investment income and dividends as part of a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," officials said Monday amid signs that President Barack Obama is ready to make a key concession of his own in urgent, high-level negotiations.
On a day the two men met for about 45 minutes at the White House, officials said they detected a receptiveness by the administration side to proposals to slow the growth of annual cost-of-living benefits paid to recipients of Social Security and other government retirement programs.
If so, it would show Obama's willingness to move toward Boehner in the secretive talks that are unfolding against a year-end deadline. Without legislation to the contrary, tax rates will rise for nearly all wage earners and spending cuts will begin at the Pentagon and in domestic programs across government.
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