The Sunday shows were dominated by talk of tax rates and the ongoing “fiscal cliff” negotiations. Here are the highlights:
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said on Fox News Sunday that Republicans should give in on higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, and use the leverage to push for entitlement reform. ”I actually am beginning to believe that is the best route for us to take,” he said.
“A lot of people are putting forth a theory – and I actually think it has merit – where you go and you give the president the 2 percent increase that he’s talking about, the rate increase on the top 2 percent – and all of a sudden the shift goes back to entitlements,” Corker said. “And all of a sudden, once you give him a top rate on the 2 percent it’s actually a much lesser tax increase than what he’s been talking about.”
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., continued to argue that Republicans should accept Obama’s offer to keep in place tax cuts on income below $250,000 a year, but raise taxes on the wealthy. On CNN’s State of the Union, Cole said: “So just let’s make sure for the 98 percent, they know they’re not. We can continue to fight on the other two percent and the higher rates.”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn R-Tenn., objected, saying on CNN that the election results prove people don’t want tax rates to go up at all. “We won the House,” Blackburn said. “The American people have clearly said we don’t want our taxes to go up.”
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said on ABC’s This Week that he would be open to raising taxes as long as it came along with ”significant entitlement reform.”
“Will I accept a tax increase as a part of a deal to actually solve our problems? Yes,” he said.
But Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., argued that there was not enough time before the end of the year to find a way to reform Medicare. ”We need to address that in a thoughtful way through the committee structure after the first of the year,” he said on NBC’s Meet The Press.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said on Meet The Press that Obama needs to “get in the room” and spell out how he will reform entitlements. “We have spent all this time talking about revenue, but as we watched the government continues to spend more,” he said, adding: “Show the leadership to get in the room and make the changes.”
In non-”fiscal cliff” news, conservative pundit George Will said that the American people are arriving at a “consensus” on gay marriage. ”There is something like an emerging consensus,” he said on ABC’s This Week. “Quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying. It’s old people.”
Both Cole and Blackburn said on CNN that John Boehner will remain Speaker of the House next year. “He’ll be speaker,” said Blackburn.
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.More Jillian Rayfield.