There Is No Payroll Tax Pledge

| | Comments (0)

Obama and many others on the left are attacking the Republicans for on the one hand taking a pledge to not raise taxes, and on the other opposing continuing the payroll tax holiday.

Obama said just yesterday, "I know many Republicans have sworn an oath never to raise taxes as long as they live. How could it be that the only time there's a catch is when it comes to raising taxes on middle-class families?"

But, unfortunately, Obama is lying. They took no such pledge, and there is no "catch." The oath Obama refers to for members of Congress very explicitly does not cover the payroll tax. It reads:

ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and

TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.

It only refers to the federal income tax, and deductions and credits on that tax. The payroll tax is separate and not addressed, in any way, by implication or otherwise, in the pledge. This is intentional. If you read the state versions of the pledge, they refer to all taxes, but the federal version is only about the income tax.

Obama and his people are smart. They know this. They are just lying.

A few other points on this payroll tax thing are worth noting:

First, the Democrats have tremendous gall to say that the Republicans should oppose a tax increase on fundamental principle now, while at the same time saying they are just going to increase that tax in the following year anyway.

Second, the Democrats have for years attacked anyone who called preserving an expiring cut a "tax increase." Now they are using that phrase for that purpose every other minute. Of course, some Republicans have switched their language too, but I've not seen one say that it is wrong to call it a tax increase, as the Democrats have done for years. I've actually been called a liar by leftists, several times, for saying that allowing a tax cut to expire is a tax increase. I've not seen any of these same leftists call the Democrats, like Obama, liars for the same language. Funny that.

Third, this is not paid for. Anything that takes ten years to pay for, won't be paid for.

Fourth, it's just bad policy, even if it were paid for. We should be reducing income tax, not payroll tax. Payroll taxes are what pay for Social Security and Medicare, the two most serious financial liabilities our country faces in the future, both of which are in serious trouble. We need to address those entitlements as wholes, and not monkey with it for short-term political gain.

Fifth, and most importantly, the Republicans should address all this by proposing income tax reform that will lower tax rates, or provide deductions/credits, at about the same level as the payroll tax holiday, but will be permanent. That will effectively demolish the dishonest Democratic argument that the Republicans are against helping the middle class, while highlighting that Republicans really believe that the payroll tax holiday is just bad policy. Given the lateness of the hour, maybe concede to a six-month payroll tax extension while the income tax reform is worked on.

Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on December 6, 2011 7:42 AM.

No Moral Core was the previous entry in this site.

"Gangster Government" is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.