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Obama Really Wants Republicans to Agree to Raise Taxes

03.29.13 2:00 PM ET

Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Want to see how eager President Obama is for a grand bargain? Here's what the Wall Street Journal reports him being willing to accept:

The White House is strongly considering including limits on entitlement benefits in its fiscal 2014 budget—a proposal it first offered Republicans in December. The move would be aimed in part at keeping alive bipartisan talks on a major budget deal.

Such a proposal could include steps that make many Democrats queasy, such as reductions in future Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security payments, but also items resisted by Republicans, such as higher taxes through limits on tax breaks, people close to the White House said. ... People close to the White House believe a proposal to slow the growth rate of such benefits would use a variant of the Consumer Price Index to measure inflation. The new inflation indicator would cut overall spending by $130 billion, according to White House projections, and raise $100 billion in tax revenue by slowing the growth of tax brackets. The White House earlier called for an additional $800 billion or so in cuts on top of those resulting from the inflation adjustments.

This isn't exactly news, but as the Journal notes, we're seeing such talk move from background whispering to a much more prominent place in the public dialogue. Andrew Sullivan, know hope.