GOP senator offers 'fiscal cliff' solution

WASHINGTON (AP) - A GOP senator is jumping into the debate on how to avoid a "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, advocating a mix of tax increases with curbs on Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is circulating a 10-year, $4.5 trillion plan loaded with controversial proposals, including a less generous inflation adjustment for Social Security and a gradual increase in the regular Social Security retirement age to 68 and the Medicare eligibility age to 67.

Corker's plan also includes $749 billion in higher tax revenue claimed by capping itemized deductions at $50,000, a proposal that hits wealthier taxpayers the hardest.

Corker has yet to attract any Democrats in support. But he's a rarity in Congress in that he's offering specific spending cuts and tax increases.


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