Sunday, December 4, 2011

GOP Leaders Norquist, Boehner Not Enthusiastic For Payroll Tax Cut

While the Republicans always fight for tax cuts for the wealthy, they're not as enthusiastic about extending the payroll tax cut that would benefit lower and middle class families. The reason Senate Republicans blocked it on Thursday is clear:

The Democratic plan would have assessed a 3.25% tax on income over $1 million to pay proposal's cost. Taxpayers with an income of $50,000 would have benefited by $1,500 a year.

Two prominent Republicans have signaled their indifference or hostility to the measure. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who has convinced most Republicans to sign his pledge never to raise taxes, is firmly against ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Yet he told Republicans that opposing the extension of the payroll tax cut is not the same as supporting a tax increase. National Journal's Billy House tweeted the following:

House Speaker John Boehner referred to the payroll tax cut as "chickenshit," something he would only agree to in exchange for Republican priorities:

GOP leadership told its membership at a closed-door meeting Friday morning it would couple with the expiring tax provisions an easing of environmental regulations on boilers, selling broadband spectrum and paving the way for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. [...]

Speaker John Boehner referred to the package he’s putting forward as turning “chicken-sh — into chicken salad,” according to people attending the meeting in the Capitol basement Friday morning.

Translated, he’s going to pass President Barack Obama’s preferred tax cut, but he wants some skin from Democrats for it.

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