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Five weeks after President Barack Obama won re-election and gained more leverage to make GOP conservatives bend on taxes, the new balance of power is proving vexing for both sides.
Republicans looking for ways to avert a looming "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and spending cuts still aren't budging on Obama's demands for higher tax rates on upper bracket earners, despite the president's convincing election victory and opinion polls showing support for the idea.
Democrats in turn are now resisting proposals, such as raising the eligibility age for Medicare, that they were willing to consider just a year and a half ago, when Obama's chief Republican adversary, House Speaker John Boehner, was in a better tactical position.
Boehner said Wednesday he and Obama still have "serious differences."