This is, to some extent, old news, and there may some things I'm just missing, but I think the President just laid a trap for the GOP on taxes. In a statement today, Mr. Obama said that extending the Bush tax cuts for all but the top 2% of earners shouldn't wait on a resolution of the fiscal cliff problem. He proposed that the tax cuts for the lower 98% should be extended now, and pointed out that such a provision had already passed the Senate.
Doesn't this put the House Republicans in a no-win situation?
If the R's agree, then what is the incentive for the President to give in to anything regarding the top 2%? All he has to do is nothing, and those rates increase automatically. If the House, seeing this, refuses to pass the Senate bill, then the President can go to the people and say that the R's are so wedded to tax cuts for the wealthy, cuts which were rejected in the election, that they refused to cut taxes for everyone else.
Maybe in the world of the GOP and Grover Norquist, not to mention ultra-safe gerrymandered Republican seats, it doesn't matter. But does the GOP really want to run on a platform of denying tax cuts to everyone if Mitt Romney can't have them?