Deficit talks will test GOP focus on tax rates

Associated Press
FILE - In this May 17, 2012 file photo, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican leaders say the government can raise tax “revenue” without raising tax “rates." But how? If Congress reduces itemized deductions, many Americans will still pay more taxes. This politically tricky tradeoff is about to take center stage in negotiations over averting a national "fiscal cliff.". (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders say the government can raise tax "revenues" without raising tax "rates."

But they have yet to detail how they would pursue it.

The distinction might mean little to Americans who end up with larger tax bills even if their tax rates don't change.

This politically tricky trade-off is about to take center stage in negotiations over how to reduce the federal deficit and avoid going over the "fiscal cliff" seven weeks from now.

The White House says wealthy Americans must pay a higher tax rate to help produce more revenue to lower the deficit.

Congressional Republicans refuse. But they say they are open to other means of higher tax collections.

That might include limits to popular itemized deductions.

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