Obama shifts, focuses more on tax hikes

President Obama's opening bid to Republicans aimed at addressing the fiscal debt crisis is significantly different than the plan he was talking about a few months ago.

In September, Obama said he favored a spending cut/tax revenue ratio of 2.5 to 1. His new offer of $400 billion in spending reductions and $1.6 trillion in tax revenue changes the ratio, though the $400 billion figure does not include the savings that were passed in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Furthermore, it remains unclear how much "war savings" factor into the president's plan, and some details on the proposal have yet to emerge.

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During an appearance on "Face the Nation" on CBS nearly three months ago, Obama stated, "What I've said in reducing our deficits — we can make sure that we cut 2.5 dollars for every dollar of increased revenue."

The White House’s new proposal, which was quickly rejected by congressional Republicans, is a clear indication that Obama believes he has far more political capital than he did before his reelection. And the first offer in high-stakes negotiations is almost always a strategic move and rarely accepted by the opposing party. 

Obama's request for $1.6 trillion in revenue was recently deemed "a joke" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) put $800 billion in revenue on the table in "grand bargain" talks with Obama in the summer of 2011. Those negotiations included major changes to entitlement reform, including raising the age of Medicare eligibility.

Democrats are praising the White House plan, and say the onus is now on Republicans to reveal their counter proposal.