Bob's Blog: Private talks best bet for a deal

Economy Congress Capitol fiscal cliff generic

President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner had a phone call yesterday and I think there is something going on to address the fiscal cliff. I don't know exactly what it is or how this thing is going to come out, but I think there are finally some real talks going on behind the scene.

There was less talking in public this week, but at least they seem to be talking privately. And talking privately is the only way things get done sometimes.

You're hearing some Republicans say maybe there does have to be an increase in tax rates for higher income people, just not as much as the President would like.

I think most people want compromise to happen. The sticking point is that it all comes down to taxes. Russell Long, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee years ago, had this saying that went, "Don't tax him, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree." We're still into that. Everyone wants a compromise. Everyone wants a deal. But not everyone wants their taxes to increase.

On Sunday we'll talk to two men whose name is synonymous with fiscal compromises: Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. They came up with that plan that many people say, "Well that sounds like a pretty good plan, why don't we use that?" The duo is now involved in this organization called the Campaign to Fix the Debt and they've been talking with leaders on Capitol Hill and around the country about fixes. I'm eager to hear what they've been telling those leaders and what they've been hearing in their private meetings. What do they think we'll come up with before January 1?

Then we'll talk to Newark Mayor Cory Booker. He's a rising star in the Democratic party, and his state's been in the national spotlight since Superstorm Sandy tore through it. A few weeks back he admitted that the storm pushed back his timeline on deciding whether or not he'd run against his state's very popular Republican Governor Chris Christie next year. Has he made a decision yet?

This week the Mayor started a seven day experiment living off the equivalent amount allotted a single person who receives food stamps. He's been tweeting about his struggles with it - including fighting temptation at a bakery meeting and whether to buy canned or dry beans - all week. I'm anxious to hear what he's learned from that experience.

Then, I've got a smart panel to help guide us through what to expect and what to look for in fiscal cliff negotiations next week. Major Garrett makes his "Face the Nation" debut as CBS News Chief White House Correspondent, TIME Magazine's Joe Klein, Washington Post's Michael Gerson, and CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell join him.

I hope you'll join me on Sunday morning. Check your local listings so you don't miss a minute of the news.

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