…says Jeff Madrick of the Roosevelt Institute. This could be true, if the news gets out that the ‘no tax increases’ party is fine with a payroll tax increase for workers earning under $106,000 a year. (If you make $50,000, you’ll pay an extra $1,000 a year; $100,000, an additional $2,000. But income from investments and the wealthy will not be touched.)
Most of the the party of the Comfortably Unafflicted signed a solemn pledge to dimwit fantasy-economist Grover Norquist and his ditzy Americans For Tax Reform group never to raise taxes, but it turns out there’s a giant loophole, as revealed by the Washington Post:
“…according to Mr. Norquist’s interpretation of the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, lawmakers have the technical leeway to bring in as much as $4 trillion in new tax revenue — the cost of extending President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for another decade — without being accused of breaking their promise. ‘Not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase,’ Mr. Norquist told us. So it doesn’t violate the pledge? ‘We wouldn’t hold it that way,’ he said.”
Earth to Grover: if you’re paying more in payroll taxes, it’s a tax increase, no matter what way you ‘hold it.’ Oh, and Grover is very much for keeping Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, these days.
Already the country is shifting against the fringe-right excesses of the GOP; advocating this payroll tax increase could be the last hungry squirrel in the nutbag, so to speak.
by Lauren Kelley
Aug. 25, 2011
On last night’s Countdown, Keith Olbermann had on Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Age of Greed author Jeff Madrick to talk about the GOP’s ongoing war on poor Americans. As Madrick notes, Republicans are pushing to raise taxes on low- and middle- income citizens who can’t afford even their current taxes; although 46% of Americans are too poor to pay income taxes, they are still paying regressive Social Security taxes. As we know, Republicans have misrepresented that figure, telling voters that close to half of Americans don’t pay taxes — something Madrick calls “deliberate” and “an outright lie.”
The only potential good news here, as Madrick sees it, is that the GOP’s strategy may backfire when poor Republican voters realize they’re being screwed. Watch Olbermann and Madrick discuss that in more length right here…