(Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
The White House made an offer to House Republicans today to avert the fiscal cliff that Republican aides familiar with the talks panned as "a joke", "an insult" and "a complete break from reality."
A Republican aide familiar with the offer that was presented to House Speaker John Boehner by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House congressional liason Rob Nabors confirmed that the $4 trillion package would raise $1.6 trillion in tax revenue up front. Republicans call that number too high and extreme to be offering two weeks into negotiations with a just a month left before the deadline.
In exchange for the added tax revenue, Democrats would give in on $400 billion in spending cuts from entitlement programs like Medicare and an aide said those cuts would not be immediate. Boehner slammed that number right after the meeting at a press conference though he would not say what the number should be.
The package would be structured in such a way that some tax increases would happen now and tax reform would happen next year. Tax rates for the wealthiest two percent would go up immediately.