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Arizona Senator Jon Kyl's retirement next year is welcomed heartily by The Reverend.
On tax cuts....
"The payroll tax holiday has not stimulated job creation. We do not think that is a great way to do it," Kyl said on "Fox News Sunday."
Months ago I wrote about the selective nature of Republican tax cuts. Cutting payroll taxes, even if only for a few years, puts money back into the hands of consumers....who, then, spend that money...which in turn, will stimulate the overall economy. Which is exactly what Obama's payroll tax holiday has accomplished.
The retiring Kyl knows that the majority of average working families will spend every penny of the approximately $1000 per year they get to keep as a result of the tax holiday. Kyl knows this and, eventually, he may even vote in favor of extending the payroll tax holiday.
But Kyl's task here.....as his task has been during his entire career in Washington...is to help out his constituents. Kyl's constituents have always been found in the top 5% of income earners. So, even though Kyl may eventually vote in favor of extending the payroll tax cuts, his job as seasoned spokesperson for the Republican Party requires him to head off any possibility that the nation's richest will have to pay for that payroll tax reduction.
The same Jon Kyl Republicans who never, ever demanded that Bush tax cuts, wars, or Medicare Plan Ds be paid for, now demand that all "expenditures" be entirely paid for. No more borrowing, say these born again deficit hawks.
Thus, Democrats, who have a long history of giving Republicans what they want, set forward the proposition that Obama's payroll tax cut extension should be paid for by a surtax on millionaires. It is that proposition, favored by a huge percentage of Americans polled, which motivated Jon Kyl to rush onto the Sunday morning teevee shows in the hopes of preventing.
Jon Kyl knows that the polling numbers run against his desire to protect millionaires and better. What's a poor, retiring, corporate lackey from Arizona to do?
The Obama administration has asked Congress to extend payroll tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year and to renew unemployment benefits. The tax-cut extension could cost the Treasury an estimated $112 billion, but if it lapses, taxes on American workers will go up Jan. 1 at a cost of about $1,000 for a typical family.
Democrats plan to propose paying for the extension with a surtax on millionaires, which Republicans oppose.
“By taxing people who provide jobs, you put off the day we have economic recovery and job creation in this country,” said Sen. John Kyl of Arizona, who was one of six Republican members on the deficit panel. “It would hit those people, the small businesses who we all acknowledge are the ones who create the jobs.”
The Tribune Washington Bureau piece writer.....even though timid about accusing any Republican of telling a lie....at least goes as far as to explain that Kyl's claims about job creators are....well....bullsh*t...
The assertion that the surtax would hurt small businesses is overstated, according to the nonpartisan fact-checking site PolitiFact, which cited several reports showing that only a tiny percentage of such business owners make more than $1 million a year.
No, not "overstated". It's simply a lie. Less than 2% of of small business owners make over $250,000 in income per year. Less than 4% of all small business owners are millionaires.
Often it is argued by conservatives that Republicans are altruistic when it comes to cutting taxes. Republicans, it is often claimed, always want to cut taxes for EVERYBODY....not just the rich. Color me unconvinced. Republicans realize that simply fighting to cut taxes on America's wealthiest...and especially in the middle of an historic economic downturn....will not win populist appeal. Whereas, tax cuts for EVERYBODY is always popular.
Whether "job creators" are millionaires or thousandaires is of little significance right now. The country is mired in a low demand period. If taxes on everyone who made more than $1 million per year were ELIMINATED altogether, demand would stay virtually the same. Jon Kyl knows this....but doesn't care.
As always, Kyl answers to America's richest. In that advocacy position, Kyl can, at the same time, tell us that $1000 per year for every working family will not stimulate demand....yet, a surtax on millionaires to pay for that stimulus will "hurt the job creators."
The long and short of it.....when confronted with extending a tax cut on almost all American families and paying for that tax cut by imposing a surtax on millionaires....the retiring Republican, Jon Kyl, goes on national teevee and shamelessly lies about both aspects of Obama's proposal.