President Obama is once again heading out Friday on the tax-hike campaign trail as top Democratic lawmakers appear willing to play chicken with Republicans on the looming fiscal crisis, refusing to budge on their insistence that high earners pay more in taxes and betting Republicans will blink before massive spending cuts and across-the-board tax increases kick in.

With just one month left before the fiscal poison pill Congress put in place a year ago as an incentive to reach a deal kicks in, Republican insiders complain that the other side’s intransigence seems calculated to make them blink. After signaling that they would be open to closing tax loopholes – and possibly raising taxes on families making above $250,000 – Republicans say Democrats have countered with calls for more stimulus, a package of additional spending and permanently raising the borrowing limit, while postponing talks about reforming entitlements or cutting spending.

“The spending cuts they are offering (which come later) are wiped out by all the new goodies [Obama] is also requesting,” a Republican insider told Fox News.

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