(CBS) – The tax fight in Washington continues this week. The public infighting is typical Washington gridlock but what you see is often not what you really get because the private battle is another story.

Four moderate Democrats are fighting the liberal wing of their party in an attempt to agree to keeping tax cuts for the middle class and extending it to higher income taxpayers for two years. That’s what the Republicans want.

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The White House says it opposes retaining tax cuts for the wealthy. Despite that pronouncement, on the inside, the White House will accept a compromise with the Republicans. If no compromise is reached the tax cuts will expire and more money will come out of all paychecks.

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That’s a New Year’s greeting that the Democrats, after a bruising defeat last month, would see as a political disaster.

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Reported by: Larry Kane, KYW Newsradio