McConnell won’t say no to tax increases

January 30, 2012

By Sean Lengell-The Washington Times

The Senate’s top Republican said Sunday he is confident Congress will pass an extension of the expiring payroll-tax break, and he wouldn’t rule out increases in taxes elsewhere to help pay for it.

“There’s broad agreement on doing the payroll-tax holiday through the end of the year. Republicans, Democrats agree on that,” SenateMinority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

When asked by moderator Candy Crowley if he would flatly rule out any kind of tax increase to pay for the benefit, Mr. McConnell wouldn’t commit, saying that he was “not going to negotiate this agreement with you this morning.”

But Mr. McConnell said the administration “wants to take somebody else’s money, particularly people who’ve been successful, and squander it on things like Solyndra,” referring to the solar-panel maker that went bankrupt last fall just two years after winning more than a half-billion dollars in federal loan guarantees.

“We now have a debt the size of our economy. We look a lot like Greece. We’re heading toward Western Europe. If you want to see what happens, just look across the Atlantic. That’s the direction we’re headed in,” Mr. McConnell said.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, also said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” he is “confident that we’ll be able to resolve this fairly quickly.”

The payroll-tax cut initially was set up at the end of 2010 as a one-year deal. Lawmakers worked to extend the tax holiday for another year during the closing weeks of 2011 but couldn’t agree how to pay for it, resulting in the two-month stopgap that expires at the end of February. A 20-member bipartisan, bicameral committee is negotiating an extension through the rest of 2012.

The main sticking point is how to pay for the 2-percentage-point cut in Social Security payroll taxes. The tax cut allows a worker earning $50,000 to keep about an extra $20 a week.

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1 Comment - what are your thoughts?

  • Clint H says:

    When, in the name of crying out loud, will our congress, including the senate minority leader, learn that you do not have to pay for tax cuts in one area by tax increases in another area. When, if ever, will they learn that tax cuts should, or must, be accompanied by cuts in spending.
    It appears that we need to do more than oust Obumble, Reid, Pelosi, et al, we need to oust some of the so called republican leadership.

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