TODAY   |  December 05, 2012

Room for compromise on fiscal cliff?

With a little over three weeks to go, NBC’s Chuck Todd weighs in on the state of negotiations and the difference between the two plans proposed by Republicans and Democrats as the fiscal cliff deadline looms.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> any closer to reaching a deal before the deadline less than three weeks away? you have your trusty ipad.

>> we'll mess around with it in a minute.

>> state of the state . where are the negotiations right now?

>> i would present this oddly as good news. they are in such a bad state that republicans this morning are more and more talking about this idea of simply punting in this respect which means they would pass that bill. remember, the president has talked about just pass the middle class tax rates , pass those and -- which would automatically raise the tax rate on the top 2%, pass that and then we'll negotiate more. more and more republicans realize they don't have much leverage right now. go ahead and do then and then have a real negotiation for the next pivot point which would be when the debt ceiling, hit the debt ceiling in two months. bad news they can't come up with a big deal but republicans are coming to the idea, you know, what we're not going to go over the cliff so we'll postpone the fine.

>> the first graphic i know you have is what the president offered.

>> 1.6 trillion in tax hikes, higher than he campaigned on. he campaigned on raising the top 2% which is just $800 billion. cuts in health care . this is medicare and medicaid , 350 billion. additional deficit cuts of 250 billion and farm subsidies and asked for spending, $100 billion in spending. let me take you to the republican plan, half that in taxes, 800 billion and 600 billion in health care cuts and some to observing air and then they want to change social security 's calculation which would cause some recipients to see a cut. one thing we thought we'd do, everybody says they are very far apart. not that far apart. if you split the difference, here's what it would look like, 1.2 trillion in tax rates , the tax rates may not go all the way up to 39%, they could go down to 37%. you'd say $500 billion in cuts in medicare and an additional 275 billion in cuts like farm subsidies , change in social security but then you'd see the president get some of the spending.

>> the politics are throughout this and speaker john boehner is in the most unenviable position because he has to get the deal, sell it to the far right of his caucus in the house. can he get that deal?

>> he can if he's willing to have the vote, have more democrats bring it home at the end of the day , pass that legislation in the house. i've talked to senior republican leadership aides who said he is willing to go without, quote, a majority of the majority, 240 republicans. that means he's willing to go with less than 120 votes, that he would go with even as few as 80 or 90 because at this point it's about taking away some of the president's leverage, getting this done and living to fight another day.

>> chuck todd with his ipad,