Kristol: GOP Should Extend Payroll Tax Cut To Become 'Champions Of The Working Class'


Bill Kristol decided to double down on his remarks from a couple of weeks ago on Fox News Sunday and the fact that Republicans in Congress and the GOP shouldn't "fall on its sword" to defend tax breaks for millionaires. What Kristol was in favor of though, was the idea that Republicans should be supporting an extension of the payroll tax cuts and that it would give Republicans a "huge opportunity" to be "the champions of the working class and the middle class."

I hate to break it to Kristol, but it's going to take a lot more than supporting one tax cut for that to happen. Personally, I don't like the cut in the payroll taxes, because I don't want to see the fund undermined and that used as an excuse to cut benefits later. If you want to leave it in place and lift the income cap, then I'm all for it. Somehow I don't see Kristol or any of his fellow "champions" ever going along with something like that though. While they're at it, they could lower the retirement age instead of all this talk about increasing it. I guarantee that would make them popular with the working class as well, that Kristol now pretends to be concerned about.

WALLACE: Well, that is an optimistic view. Bill, let me ask you, and you can respond to sister Cheney about this. One idea that was floated this week is for top earners to pay, instead of raising our top marginal rate, that they would pay that top rate, now, 35 percent, on every dollar they make. And let's put up this graphic on the screen, so we can try to explain it. Instead of now you pay ten percent on the top 17,000 from there to 70,000 you pay 15 percent, and the idea is instead of that, you pay 35 percent on all of the income from zero, all the way up to whatever you made if you were making over $250,000. Question: Good idea?

KRISTOL: Not particularly. And, I saw -- I asked someone on the Hill about it yesterday, and they said, well, no, we kind of realize that is not a good idea. The Republicans are going into contortions to try not to raise the top rate, while in fact trying to produce more revenues, which Speaker Boehner said he's for, and to produce them from the wealthy, since they are scared of being accused of attacking the middle class.

I don't really care if they want to find some complicated way to get more revenues, I suppose, I think it is probably easier just to give in a little bit on the top rate. But, they made that a matter of dogma, and I'm not going to break my own sword on telling them not to break their sword on it, but I would point this out. What is the one tax that -- rate that's going up on January 1, that no one is talking about and apparently both parties are not going to collude to let go of? The payroll tax. Remember that? That was cut from 12 percent to 10 percent two years ago. It's been 10 percent last two years, and I gather the Republicans have no problem, I don't know if Grover Norquist has a problem, with letting working class and middle class Americans have a two percent tax increase. That is not currently the Republican position, that the payroll tax cuts should be extended, and the administration I think quietly just happy to let that go, because God forbid they should actually cut entitlements for wealthy seniors or for others who benefit from corporate capitalism of big government. So, we have a collusion among the elites of both parties, that the one tax that gets -- that is going to go up, on January - if there is a deal, on January 1, is the payroll tax, which I think is wrong and Republicans have a huge opportunity here to be champions of the working class and the middle class, instead of screaming and yelling about millionaires.


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