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Will We Have A Payroll Tax Cut Extension Or Unemployment Extension For Christmas?

Will We Have A Payroll Tax Cut Extension Or Unemployment Extension For Christmas?

The holidays are supposed to be a time for peace and joy.  So can Congress have a rare moment of bipartisanship and pass a few bills to lessen the burden on struggling Americans and bring a little comfort to their lives?

Not if the newest payroll tax cut extension fight is any indication.

So how do Democrats want to pay for it?  With a 3.25 percent surtax on millionaires reporting their small business income on individual tax returns, rather than via corporate tax returns.  This would effect 2 percent of those business owners who file as individuals, or about 340,000 people.  In exchange, 113,000,000 workers would benefit from the tax cut extension.

Republicans say they aren’t opposed to extending the tax cut, but that to ask millionaires to pay anything more in taxes to fund the extension results in “a job-killing tax hike on small businesses.”  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says that there will in fact be an extension, but that Republicans will be offering a different way to fund it. “We’ll offer an alternative to the one that’s being proposed in the Senate, which, as I indicated, would have a permanent tax increase on a very, very large number of small businesses in order to pay for temporary tax relief.”  Their proposal?  An extension of a freeze on federal employee salaries, a policy that is already in effect to pay for other programs and tax cuts Republicans refuse to raise revenues to cover.

Assuming the payroll tax cut extension passes, a bigger battle may still loom — extending unemployment benefits for those who are still out of work.   Those in both Congress and the financial industry think the prospects for that extension are bleak.  Republicans aren’t saying explicitly that they will fight an extension, but it would cost almost $50 billion, and that would take an extremely long federal salary freeze to offset that cost.

Last year, Republicans held unemployment benefits hostage in order to get a two year extension on the Bush era tax cuts for the rich.  Will they ask for a permanent extension this year instead?  Or will they simply let 1.8 million Americans stop receiving benefits throughout the month of January, all to “protect” millionaires’ assets?

Soon we will see if the GOP is going to play Santa or Grinch this season.

 

 

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18 comments

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6:28AM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

5:03PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

These people are insane.

2:12PM PST on Dec 2, 2011

That's right we are not flush with cash, well at least not for the people who lost their jobs due the large corporations that outsourced those jobs. Oh well, they can't give hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Congress to vote their way. But somehow we seem to be flush with money for the wealthy donors, for tax breaks for the oil companies, and actually cash back, the financial institutions, etc. Trillions for wars, especially for Bush and Cheney's illegal war in Iraq, Shock and Awe.

I know, it's hard to understand that the Bush tax cuts did not create jobs. We have had the Bush tax cuts for years and those job creators are sitting on their hands. Raise the taxes on the rich.

12:03PM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Not if the whores for Norquist have their own way. They have absolutely NO moral fibre nor qualms regarding the welfare of others.
I am still waiting for Mr. (to the manor born )Boehner to lead on creating jobs!!(I may not live that long

9:30AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Thank you for the article...

4:46PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

The only jobs being created by the fithly rich job creators are being created in third and forth world Countries.
The Wall Street Banksters are sitting on two trillion Dollars. the most ever, they refuse to put their excess cash to work to help the economy,
Their focus now is to make Obama a one term President.
We must change the way politics is practiced in this country. We need publicly finanaced elections.
Money is not speach and corporations are not people!

3:16PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

I'd love to see an extention for unemployment. I know far too many people who are out of work but have been unable to find a job since the so-called 'job creators' aren't creating. :(

10:47AM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Here's WHY Steve R.,many many economists ,belonging to both parties think not extending them will be the worst thing to do to this economy by,essentially removing from it $`120 billion .And not withstanding your sarcastic meaning,when the J.P Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon makes equal to $10,000 / hr.,yes we are flush with cash. He and his class can begin sharing
some of that for the broader national good,simply because it's in their long term interest. Because if the gap between the wealthiest and the rest of eventually causes a Great Depression,it will probably be the Jamie Dimons leaping out of high rise windows.

9:14AM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Funny thing is, many of those who would be affected are the same guys who showed up to tell Congress to do just that - tax the mega wealthy. I heard a venture capitalist on Charlie Rose the other night talking about this and he said a 3% tax would have absolutely no bearing on how he made financial decisions - that is was just plain ludacris to suggest otherwise. He was one of the 200 millionaires who made that trip to Washington to confront Congress with the facts.

What continues to be overlooked (on purpose) by those who claim to be "pro-business" is that 99% of businesses do NOT have a million taxable income - most small businesses are way less than that - AND, the tax is effective ONLY on income OVER a million after deductions and exemptions income. (the first million continues to be taxed at its current rate - the proposed tax is a "surcharge" tax) There goes the job creation argument - they are only taxed on profit, not gross.

9:11AM PST on Dec 1, 2011

We will get nothing. The Scrooges will do nothing for the hard working, underpaid, middle class.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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