House Speaker John Boehner's latest tax proposal may mark a big step for Republicans. But it's a very small step in terms of actual tax revenues.
Boehner on Friday floated a plan to raise income-tax rates on tax filers making $1 million or more. The offer was a major concession to President Barack Obama's demand to raise tax rates on the wealthy – and signaled what might be a breakthrough in the talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff."
But for all its symbolic value, the Boehner plan would raise only modest revenues, especially compared to Obama's plan. The main reason: the "Boehner Rich" (those making $1 million or more) are a much smaller population than the "Obama Rich" (those making $250,000 or more).
First, let's look at the Obama Rich. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center figures that there are about 2.8 million Americans making $250,000 or more. They account for a little more than two percent of American tax filers. (Read more: Super Rich: 'Tax Us When We're Dead')
Raising taxes to 39.6 percent on the Obama Rich would yield around $40 billion to $45 billion in added tax revenue in the first year of the president's plan.