Democratic and Republican leaders appeared Sunday to draw closer to reaching a compromise on keeping the country from going off the fast-approaching “fiscal cliff” — with closing tax loopholes for America’s highest earners emerging as the potential middle ground.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggested that getting more revenue from the country’s highest-earners should be part of the mix, but only by closing loopholes, not increasing taxes, and only if Democrats agree to cut federal spending.

“I am optimistic,” Corker said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think there is the basis for the deal.”

The Tennessee senator also said party leaders could find likely compromise on generating revenue, but the real challenge will be cutting back on such government programs as Social Security and food stamps, known as entitlements.

Continue reading on