In their offer, the House Republicans included $800 billion in new revenues outside of any economic growth – something the GOP termed a significant concession. The Republican framework also called for some $900 billion in reductions to mandatory spending.
But Sperling’s comments on Tuesday suggest that the White House still believes it has the upper hand in negotiations, and a new Washington Post/Pew Research poll may give some credence to that notion. In his speech, Sperling did not specifically say whether the White House would accept a top income tax rate below the Clinton-era level of 39.6 percent.
The poll found that twice as many people in the U.S. – 53 percent to 27 percent – would blame Republicans instead of the administration if the economy tumbled over the cliff.
In his speech, Sperling also said that the president’s budgets had detailed more specific restraints in entitlements than what Republicans had produced, and also called on the GOP to refrain from any further confrontations over the debt ceiling.
Obama’s most recent offer called for rolling back congressional oversight of the debt ceiling.
“The president is deeply committed to leading on passing a balanced plan that includes tough but smart entitlement reform,” Sperling said.
“We must, for the sake of economic confidence and certainty, end the self-inflicted economic wound of sporadic debt fights that threaten default,” he later added.