Normally, it’s all I can do to post an article of mine every other day or so, but good lord, the Republicans just keep forcing my hand. How in the world the lame-stream media can just continue to allow Republicans to lie, cheat and steal with complete abandon and no challenge is beyond me.
Yes, I understand that they are supposed to remain “unbiased.” But is telling the truth now forfeit in the quest for viewership? I suppose I answered my own question, so I guess I’ll get on with today’s bug-up-my-butt.
Sometimes, political discourse simply cannot support itself and it crumbles leaving us with the world as it really exists. This scenario will occur later this week when the Senate votes on extending the payroll-tax holiday. Naturally, The GOP will oppose it—which means, the Republicans will support a tax increase on working Americans.
Wait. What? I thought monkeys would fly out of little Grover Norquist’s butt and eternal hell and damnation would rein down on any Republican that votes for an increase in taxes. So what the now-infamous Norquistitlian Pledge really means is that any vote for a tax increase that would affect Millionaires and Billionaires is to be rejected regardless of the benefits to America. Ohhhh, OK. I get it now.
So, because the Democrats want to pay for it with a small surtax on the very top earners in our society, it must be met with immovable force. I suppose the choice couldn’t be more direct: which is more important, giving the middle class a tax cut or protecting those who BRING HOME more than $1 million a year?
Wow. Clarity at last. The Grand Old Protagonists are making it perfectly clear. In a knowledgeable country, with a democracy at it’s core, that was forged with the blood, sweat and tears of pioneers who believed in fairness, decency and “amber waves of grain”, this one vote would destroy them, and forever damage the poor, poor millionaires and billionaires who have been repeatedly asked to suffer the indignation and profound unfairness of giving up a minuscule portion of their privileged way of life so that their fellow countrymen can feed their families, right?
Let me make sure everyone is clear on the facts, just in case my sarcasm escapes you:
1. The Social Security payroll tax normally comes to 12.4 percent of an employee’s salary–employers and employees usually each pay 6.2 percent.
2. 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% payroll-tax holiday for employees; down to 4.2%. So….for a $50,000 earner, that meant paying $1,000 a year less in payroll taxes(NOT income taxes).
3. It was agreed in that law that the holiday would cost the Social Security Trust Fund nothing–the loss of revenue would be replaced out of the general treasury. Thus, the payroll tax 2%, employee reduction added to the general deficit but does not affect the trust fund.
Republicans of course say, (as they always say of anything that THEY didn’t propose) that it hasn’t done any good whatsoever. But wait, economists say otherwise. Mark Zandi of Moody’s, who advised John McCain in 2008, agrees that raising the payroll tax back to where it was could BY ITSELF cause another recession. Wow. Heavy, dude.
But, besides those “big-picture” concerns, there is the simple question of putting money in people’s pockets as they try to tough out the economy. A thousand dollars to a $50,000 earner, or $1,500 to a $75,000 earner, isn’t peanuts.
Recognizing the need for any sort of stimuli that can help the purchasing-power of ordinary Americans, Senate Democrats want to now take an extra step.They want to increase the employee’s reduction from 2% to 3.1%, (half the normal 6.2% employee’s rate). For the first time, the Democrats also want to extend the holiday to SMALL BUSINESS EMPLYOERS as well. Huh. That is HUGE.
Democrats would have employers also pay 3.1% (rather than the 6.2% they now pay) on the first $5 million of their payroll. Additionally, SMALL BUSINESS EMPLOYERS would pay no payroll tax on new hires. The new bill is specifically aimed at helping the ACTUAL job creators. Yes, the total cost is $255 billion. Yes, Democrats want to pay for it with a 3.5% surtax on dollars earned over $1 million per year by employees. So, in other words, if someone earns $1.3 million a year, they will pay the extra 3.5% only on the last $300,000 in earnings; that is, an extra $10,500 a year.
Let me repeat. An extra $10,500 a YEAR on an employee that takes home $15,000 A WEEK.
Mitch McConnell unsurprisingly announced his opposition to it Monday.Yes, this is the same Mitch McConnell who said in January 2009 that a two-year suspension of the payroll tax “would put a lot of money back in the hands of businesses and in the hands of individuals,” and that “Republicans, generally speaking, from Maine to Mississippi, like tax relief.”
But that was then.
THAT idea was a Republican one. THIS idea is a “Kenyan” one. That alone is enough to make it poison to the GOP.
Also, extending the holiday will obviously help the economy at a moment when Republicans are now obviously doing everything they can imagine to hurt the economy. This is not even a controversial statement any longer!
It’s just too obvious for the GOP to even try and deny. And finally, now there’s a price tag on it; it has to be paid for in some way, and that way is a surtax on super-high incomes; which above all else is what the GOP simply cannot allow.
And it is absolutely sickening to watch them lie about this one.
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, quick to hit the Sunday “news” circuit proclaimed:
1. Payroll tax doesn’t go into general revenue, it supports Social Security. And we just can’t keep extending the payroll-tax holiday and have a secure Social Security.
2. By taxing the people who provide the jobs, you put off the day we have economic recovery and job creation in this country.
Which is precisely what the Democrat’s plan would do. It would help those small businesses– who eveyone acknowledges are the ones who create the jobs–to hire more workers and thus, create more demand that those workers could now afford.
Both of Kyl’s statements are lies of course. The Social Security Trust Fund is not affected by the new proposal any more than it was for the original one-year holiday last year. And the second statement is the usual GOP talking point on this–“we’re protecting small businesses”–but it’s especially lame in the context of this proposal.
85% of small businesses have payrolls under $5 million. Those small business employers would directly benefit from this law. And ALL businesses, large or small, would pay no payroll taxes on new hires.
And it won’t get one single Republican vote.
Yessir, the “deficit-reduction” party would rather add a $200 billion to the deficit than impose a surtax on people who bring home more than $1 million a year. It’s just simply astounding.
This is the most disgusting display yet from the hypocritical GOP.
How a party can so perversely represent only the top 1%, while at the same time try to stop anything that will help the economy, and the vast majority of Americans survive while doing it, is just un-American to me.
President Obama should give an Oval Office speech Wednesday night and say: “If you are an employee and make less than $1 million, or if you are an employer of any size, I am trying to give you a tax cut. If you are an employee who makes more than $1 million a year, you should write and thank your Republican senator, because the Republicans are blocking me and hurting you.”
Could it be any damn clearer than that?