If Congress does not reach a deal to extend a Social Security payroll tax holiday, more than 160 million Americans will see their taxes increase starting in January.
Republicans and Democrats approved this benefit last year without much controversy. Today, the benefit’s extension has run across the tax differences that have polarized the parties throughout the legislative session. What is different in this case is that Democrats want to continue the tax cut while Republicans oppose this.
In reality, the GOP is divided between those who do not believe the extension would benefit the economy and those who support it. However, they are united in their opposition to a 1.9% surtax on earnings over $1 million per year, among other measures.
The extension and even the broadening of the tax benefit, as proposed by the Senate Democratic leadership, would bring much-needed respite to American workers and contribute to the economy’s health.
Implementing a payment mechanism with millionaire surtaxes is understandable at a time tax rates are at their lowest ever. The argument that this will affect small businesspeople is not valid, since few of them have net income of more than $1 million.
This is not about economic redistribution or a class war. It is only about necessary adjustments that won’t have a great impact on the taxpayers involved and will help the economy.
Many millionaires have said they are willing to pay higher taxes if that helps overcome the crisis. The Republicans’ dislike of this proposal shows how highly ideological their position is on tax increases.
The time has come for the GOP to support this tax cut for the working class, with the same fervor they defend income tax cuts for the wealthiest.