Payroll Tax Cut Charade

Crystal Wright

12/28/2011 2:06:00 PM - Crystal Wright

I don’t care what the Wall Street Journal said or other so called political geniuses from the GOP establishment, House Republicans blew it this week when they caved into Senate Democrats two month payroll tax holiday scam. Speaker Boehner should have called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bluff and forced the Senate to come back to Washington and work with the House to pass the payroll tax cut for a year.

After all, the House passed its yearlong version of the payroll tax holiday, which the Senate rejected. Yes, it is a tax holiday not a cut because payroll taxes fund the Social Security Trust Fund and can’t be cut forever.

If Boehner held his ground, the Senate probably wouldn’t have returned and 160 million would not have received an average of $1000 in savings, which would have been good. The payroll tax holiday/cut, reducing the tax paid by employees from 6.2% to 4.2%, has done nothing to stimulate the economy over the past year when it was concocted last year. Just like Obama’s $800 billion stimulus and potpourri of other failed costly government spending programs like HAMP, Cash for Clunkers, Cash for Caulkers haven’t stimulated anything but our national debt.

In the absence of getting Senate Minority Leader McConnell to speak from the same sheet of music as the House Republicans, what Boehner should have done is ramp up his message to the American people. Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, among others should have managed their message more aggressively. Collectively, House Republicans should have hit the airwaves reminding Americans, Obama’s so called tax holiday robbed the Social Security Trust Fund of about $120 billion last year and stimulated nothing.

American Enterprise Institute’s Alex Brill noted recipients of past tax rebate schemes in 2001 and 2008 didn’t spend the money. But if Obama wouldn’t politicize the Keystone XL pipeline project and allow it to move forward, 20,000 jobs would be added and another 118,000 support jobs. I bet Americans would want those jobs over this phony tax cut.

This so called tax cut for the middle-class is nothing more than Democrats and Obama playing Robin Hood--- robbing from the Social Security Trust Fund. Republicans need to remind Americans Obama and the Democrats payroll tax cut is one big fiasco along with Obama’s failed policies.

If this payroll tax holiday is continued for another eight years, the Social Security Trust Fund could be completely wiped out of funds. It’s interesting to note Democrats consistently oppose any ideas of privatizing Social Security, including Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan but are all too willing to threaten it’s solvency by robbing it of funds.

As retired university president Wade Gilley opined on the matter in the Richmond Times Dispatch, “I have difficulty understanding why President Obama, who seems to support Social Security, would propose to tear a hole in the bottom of the SS trust Fund, which will almost certainly ensure its end.”

In two months when the payroll tax holiday jig will be up and I don’t think House Tea Party freshman will have the appetite to extend the this “tax cut” through the end of the year nor should they. Speaker Boehner would be wise to get Senate Minority Leader McConnell on his side and advocate discontinuing yet another Obama stimulus gimmick.

In 2012 Republicans message to the American people should be: “Rather than focusing on real job creation and tax policy reform, President Obama wants to risk ending Social Security as we know it by giving you a miniscule payroll tax cut.” Republicans need to hammer away that Barack Obama’s relentless pursuit of the same old failed policies has kept our country mired in the same old mess of high debt and joblessness. The only way out of this quagmire is to reverse course away from the out-of-control, directionless spending.