Politico's Manu Raju and Jake Sherman report that the negotations over the payroll tax cut extension are progressing: Senate Democrats updated their offer to decrease the size of both the payroll tax cut and the millionaires surtax that would "pay for" it. House Republicans, meanwhile, are expected to offer to free up funds for the cut by reducing Medicare and other benefits for the wealthy, as well as freezing payments for federal workers through 2015.
The negotiations have followed a familiar pattern for recent Hill affairs, with both sides more interested in pinning the blame on the other guys than resolving the issue at hand. Eventually the break will be extended for another year, without a surtax on millionaires or significant spending cut -- which is fine. In the meantime, the rest of us will be subjected to dumb exercises in fingerpointing, such as the White House putting a clock counting down the days until the break's expiration on every page of its website.
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