Here’s a compromise to extend the payroll tax cut...

Average working Americans could get screwed. Republicans may agree to extend the payroll tax cut for middle class Americans after all…just as long millionaires and billionaires don’t have to cough up a dime. Yesterday – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans are on board with extending the payroll tax cut – but are opposed to the Democrats plan, which pays for it with a 3% surtax on people who make more than a million bucks. Instead – Republicans will offer their own plan to pay for the tax cut – likely one that takes money away from the social safety net.

Essentially – Republicans are willing to let taxes go up on 113 million households to prevent 345,000 millionaires from a meager tax increase. That’s the definition of protecting the 1% at the expense of the 99%. But here’s a compromise – extend the payroll tax cut – and pay for it by eliminating the Social Security cap – so that millionaires and billionaires pay the same social security tax rate as janitors.

Not only that – lifting the cap keeps Social security solvent for the next 75 years. Let’s see if Republicans go along with that idea.


DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 29 weeks ago

The Political Crisis in the US and the Fight for Independent Politics

It should be clear that the United States has entered a classic political crisis. A large section of the American people no longer believe that either the Democrats or the Republicans can be trusted to run the country. This has...

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 29 weeks ago

Not the end, just the end of the beginning

And that -- that brings me to the second mode of civil disobedience. There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus -- and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it -- that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all!!

-- Mario Savio, Dec. 2, 1964.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 29 weeks ago

Re: 30 years of Reagan's failed policies.

The policies did not fail; they did exactly what they were supposed to do.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 29 weeks ago

I saw a great sign a couple of days ago. It basically said "If the government enforced banking rules like the government enforces park rules; we wouldn't be in this mess"!

cygnus1's picture
cygnus1 12 years 29 weeks ago

As we have been reading the comments on these last few blogs, it is evident that the majority of the posters have failed to grasp the fundamentals of a system which promises them relief from all the grievences which they have ever expressed in words. The peoples do not even seem to have grasped the basic understanding of setting up a system "outside" of the present people destroying system they live within. In this case nothing will change for the better and the circle will continue until all is destroyed, and you, the Peoples of these United States of America, the Middle East, and Africa, will continue sinking in the quicksand the 1% have created for you. - Cygnus1

dadm13a 12 years 29 weeks ago

"The Policies did not fail; they did exactly what they were supposed to do."

While I agree with the premise I would word it as follows: The Policies did not fail; they did exactly what they were designed to do!

Mel Polk's picture
Mel Polk 12 years 29 weeks ago

The compromise of eliminating the social security cap to pay for the payroll tax cut is shortsighted and hurtful to many taxpaying Americans that are not in the 1%.

In 2011 the cap was at 106K and is supposed to go up to about 110K for 2012. Many of us who are NOT in the 1%of millionaires work hard and are earning between 100K and 200K and there are certainly more of us than 345,000. So this so called compromise would eliminate any benefits to many in the middle class and place and additional hefty tax increase on us non 1% just so we can include the 345,000 millionaires in the 1%.

No thanks.....

A better proposal - eliminate the lower capital gains tax for any capital gains above 500K per year. That would include the majority of 345,000 millionaires who make most of their money through capital gains and protect the middle class who sell their house or investments.

Victhpooh's picture
Victhpooh 12 years 29 weeks ago

I agree with Mel. Earning $105K in NYC or nearby does not a millionaire make. Raise it slightly, perhaps, but then also raise the maximum benefits.

How about this: capital gains which are earnings (ie the only income a person has) are taxed at the same rate it would be if it were income.

I heard that the GOPers are asking for a wage freeze for federal non military employees and to lay off 200,000 federal workers. Its the trifecta for them. They get to 'rescue' the middle class while hurting public workers and increase the unemployment rate, further hurting Obama's changes next year. How do they sleep at night.

deboergj's picture
deboergj 12 years 29 weeks ago

The monarchs of old have not died...

I have been wondering why the cap has stayed so long! Why do we not hear its removeal from the dems or reps? Maybe they have, but it seems to not get any news. I make more than the cap and would be fine with its removal. I also think it may help level the exec pay when the companies need to contribute to this as well!...Is Bernie Sanders for this removal? What can we do to get this more attention? I have written to my senators and house rep many times regarding this and they ignore my e-mails! and they are dems! Who are they protecting here in Washington State?

Thanks Thom...I am a big fan and agree with your level headed thoughts...


George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 12 years 29 weeks ago

The Republicans have the 99% where they want us. They have for 30 years since Reagonomics achieved through the "Back Door" where they couldn't achieve through the "Front Door" by legislation to change the social safety net. It took the Republicans two wars paid for on the national credit card outside the budget, tax breaks to the rich, and now they are going to hold us hostage, again. The Republicans are thirsty for the $2.7 trillion dollars surplus in the Social Security Fund going to Wall Street! What boggles my mind is that the Republicans act as though there is no electorate?

deboergj's picture
deboergj 12 years 29 weeks ago

I am not sure I would agree that removing the cap would hurt those that make more than the current cap but less than a million. Are you kidding me, your no better than those making a million! Because you are not contributing equally and in fact those making 50K are contributing more of their wages than you are percentage wise! And where do they live? Most likely they have to commute a long way for work in NY! Perhaps we should look at our lives and see what really makes us happy...hopefully its the relations we build not the stuff we burden ourselves with...Maybe if it will help, lift the cap, but with a small increase over the present cap with gradual increases every year...But I am all for just ripping off the bandaid all at once...get the pain over! At least we should have it up for vote!

R.A. Stewart's picture
R.A. Stewart 12 years 29 weeks ago

"What boggles my mind is that the Republicans act as though there is no electorate"--very true--but then they have increasingly acted that way for thirty years and have consistently gotten away with it. I would say at this point they are counting on a combination of feckless, nearly-monopolized corporate media, public ignorance and preoccupation with survival, the effects of Citizens United, suppression of likely Democratic voters, and (a tie-breaker as it were) manipulation of electronic balloting. And I'm not at all confident that they are mistaken.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 29 weeks ago

The "House of Norquist" will never go along with lifting the cap. The scoundrels are too much in fear of losing their Govt. jobs.... along with all those great SOCIALIST benefits.

Speaking of regressive taxation, how about all of that hidden property tax landlords pass along to renters. As an owner, at least what I pay is recorded..... which most of us know is the identical rate per $1000 of assessed value a multi millionaire neighbor pays.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 29 weeks ago

George, You hit the nail right on the head, the SS fund is all that's left for Wall Street to steal from the working class, unless you still have a few bucks in a 401K equity fund!

Romney as Pres. would push to privatize for his buddies in a heartbeat!

Mel Polk's picture
Mel Polk 12 years 29 weeks ago

I can understand that those making 50K might feel that are paying more payroll tax as a percentage of their income than those making between 100K and 200K. There is a reason why the cap exists. If the cap wasn't there then the more money some people contribute, the more they would be entitled to take out so what good would that be. Otherwise some people would be asked to put in more money than they would be allowed to take out, and that isn't very fair either. Currently the systems actually works the other way - paying many people more money at retirement than they actually put in. (that's why their a debate that the system needs to be fixed)

There really has to be a more inclusive way of looking at the big picture. Are we now going to be having a class warfare within the middle class between those making 50K and those making 150K? I think trying to fix the problem with millionaires should not even be a class warfare issue as many are making it out to be. This class warfare stuff is is not helpful in any debate. It is more of common sense that the tax code should be corrected and one way is to make sure that those that make their income via capital gains on investments should pay their fair share. This could be done without hurting anyone earning under 200K (the middleclass) by having a progressive capital gains tax where the top capital gains earner (the 1%) would have to pay the highest rate without deductions.

The business system is currently rigged when investors, investment bankers and wall streeters who get to define their income as capital gains (at lower tax rate) and the middle class workers get paid on W2 or 1099s and have everything taxed as ordinary income. Can a laborer or construction worker define his sweat equity as his investment when starting with nothing but a backhoe and building a tunnel? Can the laborer then get to claim his pay as a capital gain? I think not.

Now we want to encourage the investors to continue to invest. So we don't want to go too far. But we certainly don't want to screw the part of the middleclass that are making between 100K and 200K just so we can get the 345,000 millionaires to pay their fair share, and we certainly want to do away with this class warfare stuff even when it pertains to the 345,000 millionaires because it serves no purpose but to cloud the real issues and poison any legitimate debate.

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 12 years 29 weeks ago

The extension and expansion of the payroll tax holiday is a Republican idea on steroids with the purpose of weakening Social Security. I'd prefer not to raise the cap and just give a $1,000 credit to those making $50,000 or less with no additional benefits to businesses. The credit could be phased out from $50,000 to $100,000. While there is a $2.6 trillion surplus in SS and it is projected to pay full benefits for 25 years, we need to put money in to fund the shortfall, not take money out. Also, make S corp earnings subject to payroll taxes.

Having said that, at least eliminating the payroll tax cap is better than using an income tax increase which will leave a net decrease to SS.

strikerfired's picture
strikerfired 12 years 29 weeks ago

Finally, in this sea of mismatched souls, a person that actually gets it. Well stated Mel Polk. You are on to something positive.

Uncle Geo's picture
Uncle Geo 12 years 29 weeks ago

If it walks like a duck...

I have no problem calling it class warfare. The Republicans use that "don't say class warfare" because they don't want anyone describing what has in fact happened -the reinstatement of an age old paradigm that ensures wealth trickles (or floods) up.

And the question asked about Tom's compromise; I'm sure Tom knows, as everyone else should by now, that the Republicans prime directive is to never give an inch or compromise -even if the Democrats adopt their ideas as has happened on healthcare and various economic actions! If I had been a Vegas odd maker I would have given the same odds the commission would fail as I'd give for the Sun coming up.

I've thought that the President has offered the GOP opportunities to talk things out and compromise to be fair so that eventually he could say "Well look everyone, they don't compromise and they're "hurting America" so I'm gonna do a bunch of executive ordering stuff and we'll fight it out in court." -but that day never seems to come.

So the rest of us need to call it as it is.

Pulladigm's picture
Pulladigm 12 years 28 weeks ago

I have been talking about lifting the payroll tax, the FICA payroll deduction cap, since before the tea party was created by the Koch Bros.

The cap, $135,000 which was set in 1935, will not be felt by the vast majority of Americans. Those who will won't care. I know of no one whis waiting for the day when they pass the $135K threshhold so that they can have an extra $5 in their paycheck.

My Congressman Jo Bonner(R-AL1) thinks it is a tax increase and so his kneejerk reaction is to be against it. A couple of weeks ago a group of about 100 millionaires went to congress to ask to be taxed. They asked to pay their fair share. NOT ONE SINGLE REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN WOULD MEET WITH THEM. These people are not listening to their constituents. They are not listening to the economists. They are not listening to the 99%. They are not listening to our millionaires. To whom are they listening? How big a check do you need to bring with you to get a congressman to listen?


If you miss the way it used to be- tax a millionaire, support a union and buy American.

Zafro's picture
Zafro 12 years 27 weeks ago

When Republiscons threaten to filibuster, do Demecrats simply fold like a cheap card table? Am I missing smething here? If so, I would like to hear someone ask Mr. Sanders why no one forces the Republicons to stand there and explain thier obstructionist ways. I would call in to ask him myself, but sadly i do not have the time to call in and wait on hold.

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