Georgia's GOP senators worry about payroll tax plan

Isakson, Chambliss say Democrat plan stresses Social Security trust fund

Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 7:03 AM
Last updated Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 12:59 AM
  • Follow Georgia National

Although millions of people across the nation would get the benefit of extending the temporary cut in federal payroll taxes, a Georgia lawmaker said he has concerns about cost.

“Any extension would have to be fully paid for and the ‘pay for’ would have to go into the trust fund,” U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga, said Wednesday. “However, I have concerns with reducing contributions to an already stressed Social Security Trust Fund.”

Extending it and expanding it from the current 2 percent cut in Social Security tax to 3.1 percent would keep billions of dollars in state economies: $5 billion in Georgia and $2.2 billion in South Carolina.

For the average family earning $50,000, the current tax break is putting $1,000 into their take-home pay. Keeping it and boosting it would bring that to $1,500 which the family would have to spend or pay bills.

“It’s common sense,” said Jason Furman, deputy director of the National Economic Council. “if every family in the country has an extra $1,500, they’re going to go out and spend some of that money next year. They’ll probably spend a lot of it, given the way the economy is right now.”

That spending would push businesses to meet that demand with new production, he said.

“I don’t see how anyone can debate that injecting that amount of money into the economy would do anything other than creating hundreds of thousands of jobs,” he said.

The White House estimates it would create 600,000 to 1 million jobs.

The Senate votes on the proposal later this week, and the Obama administration contacted reporters in various regions as a way to pressure Republicans into supporting it.

Republicans aren’t opposed to a tax cut. After all, they’re pushing for an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts that are due to expire in 2013.

However, many in the GOP say they are not happy with the Democrats’ plan to pay for the payroll-tax cut with a 3.25 percent surtax on incomes above $1 million.

“I will not support a payroll tax-cut extension bill that raises taxes on the American people, adds to our national debt and bankrupts Social Security, all of which the Democrats’ proposal does,” said U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

Republicans prefer accounting for it through a spending reduction, such as a freeze on federal workers’ pay.

Furman would not say if the president would be open to an alternative way of paying into the Social Security trust fund the $179 billion the extended and expanded tax cut would trim from its revenue next year.

“There are potentially ‘pay for its’ that are acceptable, and there are ‘pay for its’ that are not going to be acceptable,” he said. “We’re not going to negotiate an endgame as this point.”

Comments (6) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Ushouldnthave
0
Points
Ushouldnthave 12/01/11 - 08:48 am
0
0
People in the middle class

People in the middle class NEED to speak up on this. This means that YOU will begin paying $83 more per month in taxes beginning in January. In this economic environment that is an impact on middle class workers that we will feel. The Dems and Repubs say they speak for us, but neither has the interests of the middle class in mind in their decision making.

faithson
5193
Points
faithson 12/01/11 - 09:36 am
0
0
asking people who's income is

asking people who's income is over 1,000,000 dollars a year... thats 2765 dollars every day, 20,000 per week to pay 3% more in taxes to pay for this extension that will effect ALL workers taking a paycheck seems reasonable. Paying an extra 30,000 per million to keep the train on the tracks in America seems a small price to pay. Of course those who want to 'drown the government in a bathtub' by starving it won't agree, but just let this go down to defeat and see how the middle class in America respond next November. Saving the rich at the expense of the middle class is a political slogan that will re-elect the President and help many a Democrat to get elected.

Little Lamb
46397
Points
Little Lamb 12/01/11 - 10:23 am
0
0
The trouble with slowly

The trouble with slowly cutting back on social security payroll payments (employee, employer, and self-employed) and Medicare payments is that you are bleeding the social security trust fund. The end result (and this is probably what Obama wants) is that you turn Social Security and Medicare into welfare programs instead of programs that people now perceive as insurance programs.

Once the benefits are no longer tied to contributions, the government can do anything they want with future payments. Of course, I guess socialistic governments can pretty much do anything they want anyway.

Little Lamb
46397
Points
Little Lamb 12/01/11 - 10:24 am
0
0
I say, let the payroll taxes

I say, let the payroll taxes go back up. People need the pain.

Riverman1
84911
Points
Riverman1 12/01/11 - 10:32 am
0
0
LL, is it true that this

LL, is it true that this period of no payroll taxes means the individuals social security payments and so on will be reduced later? Isn't that the case with unemployment compensation also?

Little Lamb
46397
Points
Little Lamb 12/01/11 - 11:08 am
0
0
Yes, it's true. The less you

Yes, it's true. The less you pay in now, the less your monthly Social Security check will be later. If the mainstream media would tell people the truth, I'm sure many people would want the payroll tax rate restored to what it was before Obama.

The Democrats want to de-couple payments into Social Security from benefit payments out of Social Security. It's a sneaky way to achieve their desired welfare state.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 12/01/11 - 01:23 pm
0
0
payroll tax cuts nred to be
Unpublished

payroll tax cuts nred to be "paid for?" i thought the idea of tax cuts needing to be paid for was ridiculous to republicans. oh wait, that was only when discussing not extending tax cuts for the rich.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 12/01/11 - 01:31 pm
0
0
but they aren't worried about
Unpublished

but they aren't worried about indefinite detention of americans without charges, are they?

Back to Top

Top headlines

Faces of Survival: Breast Cancer Awareness Month series

Breast cancer has touched thousands of families across the Augusta area. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, The Au­gus­ta Chronicle will be featuring ...
Search Augusta jobs