Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), the retiring minority whip, said he is opposed to extending the payroll tax cut — raising taxes an average of $1000 on American families and risking eliminating half-a-million jobs from the economy — because he is concerned about the longevity of Social Security.
“The problem here is payroll doesn’t go into general revenue, it supports Social Security, and you can’t keep extending the payroll tax holiday and have a secure Social Security,” he said on Fox News Sunday.
Kyl didn’t address the upcoming fight over a millionaires surtax to pay for the tax cut. That revenue would be transferred into the Social Security system under the Senate Democratic plan — though it is sure to face opposition to anti-tax Republicans.
Kyl’s Democratic counterpart, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), was incredulous at Kyl’s position: “I can’t believe that,” he said. “That the Republican position is they’ll raise the payroll tax on working families? I think that just defies logic.”
How Congress decides the payroll tax cut issue in the next five weeks will be a major factor in determining how the economy recovers next year — and the issue will dominate the next five weeks on Capitol Hill.
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