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Schumer on tax rate compromises: "You can't do three things at once"

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is skeptical about the latest compromise being discussed in Washington to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Schumer expects a deal to be done by the end of the year, but says he won't support what's under discussion now.

Small groups of lawmakers are meeting  this week,  looking at one plan, at least, that would lower tax rates for all and close some tax loopholes. They've got an eye towards reducing the deficit with that extra revenue.

Schumer has called that idea little more than 'happy talk.'  He says the numbers just don't add up.

"You can't do three things at once, you cannot prevent the middle class from paying more, cut taxes on the rich and reduce the deficit," Schumer said.  "It's a simple mathematical equation that makes a great deal of sense.  So, if you had to get rid of one of the three legs of the stool, I would say don't cut taxes on the wealthiest."

Schumer prefers a plan that would raise rates for the wealthy, to Clinton-era levels, as well as get rid of loopholes that benefit high income Americans.

Congress has until the end of the year to come up with an agreement or else Bush-era tax cuts will expire, and $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts will  go into effect.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.