Michael Tomasky: GOP Is Set to Self-Destruct Over Payroll Tax

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  1. Macrobius The Old Usager

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    via: http://previousdissent.com/forums/s...-GOP-Is-Set-to-Self-Destruct-Over-Payroll-Tax

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...is-set-to-self-destruct-over-payroll-tax.html


    In rejecting an extension of the payroll-tax cut, Senate Republicans show beyond a doubt that their party favors the wealthy over ordinary Americans, says Michael Tomasky.

    Every blessed once in a great while, all artifice is stripped away, rhetoric collapses under the weight of its own absurdity, and we get to see things as they really are. Such will be the case later this week when the Senate tries to vote on extending the payroll-tax holiday. The Republicans will oppose it—that is to say, the Republicans will support a tax increase on working Americans. And why? Because the Democrats want to pay for it with a small surtax on the very top earners. So the choice couldn’t be more direct: which is more important, giving the middle class a tax cut or protecting those who make more than $1 million a year? Republicans are making it clear. This vote alone should destroy them.

    The facts: The Social Security payroll tax comes to 12.4 percent of an employee’s salary—employers and employees each pay 6.2 percent. The money goes into the Social Security Trust Fund and finances benefits. At the end of last year, the Obama administration, in exchange for temporarily extending the Bush tax rates on all income levels, got Congress to agree to a one-year 2 percent payroll-tax holiday for employees, down to 4.2 percent. For a $50,000 earner, that meant paying $1,000 a year less in payroll taxes. It was agreed in that law that the holiday would cost the Social Security Trust Fund nothing—the depleted revenue would be replaced out of the general treasury. So the holiday adds to the general deficit but does not affect the trust fund.
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