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Spokesmen for both Obama and Boehner said the two men agreed to not release details of the conversation, but emphasized that the lines of communication remain open. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

What they're really talking about

Here's the CEO of General Electric, Jeff Immelt, demanding an end to the fiscal cliff tiff:

"We need to get this resolved. Now."

We need it resolved now. But who's "we?"

If you ask Americans, which is what Politico just did in its latest battleground poll, "Sixty-nine percent oppose raising taxes on small businesses that earn more than $250,000 a year."

Don't tax small business. And at the same time, "There is very little appetite for significant changes to entitlement. Sixty-four percent in our (Politico's) poll oppose raising the retirement age for social security."

So all this stuff about we need to do this and we need to do that, trying to figure out what we as ordinary Americans want is no help.

So the president and Speaker Boehner had that secret meeting at the White House Sunday. Do you think they were discussing Keynesian economics? You think they're going over Tim Geithner's spreadsheets?

My guess is they're going over an entirely different set of numbers. They're going over vote counts. They're trying to decide if there's a better chance of passing something with the current Congress or the new Congress. This is like Lincoln passing the 13th Amendment. They're going over how to buy that last we vote, and I mean "buy" in the best Lincolnian sense.

Lincoln's strategy was to abolish slavery now and handle equality later, they're going have to raise taxes on the rich now and handle spending later. If past is prologue, that second part should be wrapped up in about 100 years.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Host
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.