It's progress that he has broken the republican seal on tax rate increases. Obama has already rejected it, but it's a first step since both sides are going to have to give up something. Still, I say a deal is not done before last possible minute, or sometime thereafter. It makes each side look weak to their constituents if they give up what they are going to have to give up to get a deal too early. They have to look like they fought to the bitter end, and then some, but only compromised for the betterment of the country because the other side would have allowed everyone to suffer had they not.