"I think we should stop arguing about the Bush tax cuts," says Bob Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a budget watchdog group.
"We've been arguing about them for about 12 years now and I don't think a lot of minds are changing. The debate should move forward and consider fundamental tax reform. It's a far more productive debate to have. When you connect tax reform with entitlement reform, you can actually help solve a lot of our fiscal problems," he says.
Bixby said that a critical test of the coming talks is if they are able to sidestep -- or enlarge -- the debate on the Bush tax cuts and focus instead on overall revenue levels.