Two top Iowa Democrats are accusing some Republicans of being “hypocrites” for supporting an increase in the payroll tax, while opposing a tax hike on the wealthiest Americans. Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Sue Dvorsky says Republicans have finally found a tax increase they can support.
“Instead of closing a tax loophole or asking the wealthiest two percent of Americans to pay their fair share, Republicans are willing to back a tax hike on the middle class,” Dvorsky says, “exactly the opposite of what our economy needs right now.” American workers normally pay 6.2% of their wages in a tax that winds up paying for Social Security benefits.
As part of a bipartisan spending deal last December, Congress approved President Obama’s request to reduce the workers’ share to 4.2 percent for one year. Obama wants Congress to extend the reduction for an additional year. Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says anyone earning a $50,000 salary will see their taxes go up $1,000 in January if Republicans balk at Obama’s request.
“The thing that’s so hypocritical aobut the Republicans’ position on this payroll tax increase that they’re proposing is that is has an enormous impact by hitting chiefly the middle class and the working poor,” Braley says. Millions of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes.
Some Republicans argue keeping the payroll tax break in place will increase the deficit and it’s time for lower income Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes to have some “skin in the game” when it comes to cutting the federal deficit. Other Republicans expect this payroll tax issue may be part of the overall deficit reduction plan a bipartisan “Super Committee” will submit to congress later this fall.