Republican speaker talks of higher taxes
John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, has floated raising income tax rates for Americans earning more than $1 million (€750,000) a year, in a big concession in negotiations with President Barack Obama.
Mr Boehner was proposing to allow tax rates to increase for the richest Americans, sources said, but on condition that Mr Obama agreed to deep spending cuts on popular pension and healthcare programmes.
Mr Boehner’s offer falls short of Mr Obama’s goal to see tax rates rise for households earning more than $250,000 per year. But the proposal still represents a significant breakthrough because Mr Boehner – along with other House Republicans – have so far resisted any tax rate hikes.
Yet a spokesman for Mr Boehner suggested a deal remained relatively far off. “The lines of communication remain open, but there is no agreement, nor is one imminent,” the spokesman said. The White House declined to comment.
The movement on tax rates followed a meeting between Mr Obama and Mr Boehner on Thursday, and a telephone conversation on Friday. – (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012)