GOP leaders lay down $2.2 trillion plan, but is it good enough for their own?

In the wake of U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's offer to Congressional Republicans to avoid the upcoming fiscal cliff, GOP leaders have been formulating an official response in the form of a new deal. On December 3, House Speaker John Boehner's office released the draft proposal for a $2.2 trillion plan that, according to some sources, reflects some of the compromises that fell short during the 2011 debt ceiling talks.

The centerpiece of the 10-year deficit-reduction framework is $800 billion worth of revenue increases, which Republicans intend to accumulate by limiting tax deductions for wealthier Americans. While the specifics of this component have yet to be ironed out, some commentators, including those from Fox News and CNN, believe that popular measures such as the mortgage interest deduction will be considered for the chopping block during the weeks ahead.

An additional $600 billion in savings will be derived from weeding out waste and fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid systems and, most likely, reducing administrative costs through staff attrition. However, like the revenue-raising proposals, these stipulations are unfortunately short on details and the specifics have yet to be released. $600 billion will be cut from discretionary spending accounts while another $300 billion would come increasing federal worker contributions to their health care plans and reducing the operational budgets of Congress, the Pentagon and other big-ticket government programs.

Those expecting some leeway from Congressional Republicans on the matter of tax rates for high-earning Americans are sure to be disappointed by the GOP proposition, which leaves the Bush-era cuts intact for all earnings brackets. President Barack Obama has all but demanded that Republicans heed his demand for more revenue from the nation's wealthiest.

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