“Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer and Robert Reich, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, discuss the latest fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington. Robert Reich believes Democrats have the power in the budget battle, because the Bush tax cuts for the rich — which Republicans want to extend and Democrats oppose — will expire no matter what anyone agrees on come January.
“The question is, will the Democrats actually hold firm?” Reich asks. Reich also addresses whether limiting tax deductions instad of raising marginal tax rates on the rich could generate the $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues that Obama has set as a goal: “Just by limiting deductions for the wealthy you can’t get anywhere near the $1.6 trillion. … Now if you made the tax on capital gains equal to the tax on ordinary income, maybe that preference would get you closer. But nobody is talking about doing that, unfortunately.”