Corker: Agreeing to tax increases then focusing on entitlements is ‘best route for us’

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Sunday that he's "beginning to believe" that falling in line with President Obama's call to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, then shifting the focus to reforming entitlements "is the best route for us to take" on the "fiscal cliff."

"There is a growing group of folks that are looking at this and realizing that we don't have a lot of cards on the tax issue before year end," Corker said on "Fox News Sunday." He continued: "A lot of people are putting forth a theory, and I actually think it has merit, where you go ahead give the president the two percent increase that he is talking about -- the rate increase on the top two percent -- and all of a sudden the shift goes back to entitlements."

President Obama has called for allowing the Bush-era tax rate cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire as part of any deal to avert the "fiscal cliff." Some Republicans have shown a willingness to cooperate with the president on the matter, while most others appear opposed to hiking rates, citing a negative impact on small business. 

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the same program that he sees "real progress" on the negotiations over revenue increases, citing the growing number of Republicans saying they are willing to raise rates. 

Both Schumer and Corker said they believe Democrats and Republicans can strike a deal in time to avert the "fiscal cliff" on Jan. 1. 

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Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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Sean Sullivan · December 8, 2012

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