Bipartisan discussions over the fiscal cliff are off to a rough start, sources close to the negotiation tell Politico. The problem: there remains a massive divide over taxes. Democrats want to raise taxes on the earners over $250,000 from 35% to 39.6%. Republicans don't want to raise taxes at all.
Republican's aren't convinced the White House and fellow Hill Democrats will give enough concessions on entitlement spending to justify any proposed tax hikes.
Beyond freezing tax rates, Politico reports, Republicans are pushing for changes to entitlement spending, an overhaul of the tax code, and a postponement on the looming sequester, which threatens to cut billions from both Pentagon and domestic programs.
Then there's the debt ceiling. The Treasury Department is pushing to raise the borrowing limit in 2013 - something they could very well get as a part of the fiscal cliff negotiations. That is, so long as House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) feels that Democrats are willing to negotiate.
Notably, Politico reports, current discussions are limited to White House and Boehner aides, excluding other major Congressional leaders.