Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has given another proposal to President Obama and the White House to mull over the whole fiscal cliff shebang. According to Boehner, it's really good:
"We sent the White House a counter-offer that would achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs."
Boehner's side would not provide any specifics about what was offered, and that's actually a good thing. More on that in a moment.
Earlier, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated over and over at a press briefing that President Obama is still waiting for more specific proposals related to the fiscal cliff from the Republicans, but would not provide a drop of specifics over the Obama-Boehner meetings. It will be interesting to see if the Obama camp changes its tune on fiscal cliff negotiations after they review Boehner's latest offer.
So, why is the fact that no one is saying anything good? Because it means they might actually be negotiating with each other. The debate is still happening in public, but the more substantial negotiations are happening in private, which, with twenty days to go, is how it should be. That the two sides seem to have agreed to not leak each other's proposals, and to make this less about who wins in the media, well that provides some hope that an actual deal will happen.
Now let's see how long that note of optimism lasts...