A 35 percent tax rate is a number, not a principle

Republicans believe that the upper-income tax rate should not be raised. It's a line in the sand based on principle. True, low taxes is a principle. But the actual rate is relative, and must be flexible to avoid the 'fiscal cliff.'

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    President Obama acknowledges House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio while speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Nov. 16. Op-ed contributor Jim Sollisch writes: 'I’m optimistic that as we approach the edge of the cliff, Republicans will find that the one principle they believe in – even more deeply than 35 percent – is political survival.'
    Carolyn Kaster/AP
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