Republicans Offer Spending Cuts in Exchange for Payroll Tax Cut

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 30 2011 5:53 PM

Republicans Offer Spending Cuts in Exchange for Payroll Tax Cut

Tax cuts pay for themselves, except when a tax cut happens to be the focal point of Democratic campaigns. Republicans have offered to break the impasse over the payroll tax cut extension with a plan of their own, one that theoretically pays for the cuts and shrinks the deficit by $111 billion more. Freshman Sen. Dean Heller, who's up in 2012, gets to carry the ball. The plan, annotated

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Extends the current temporary payroll tax holiday for one year
Advertisement

Compromise!

Eliminates millionaires’ and billionaires’ eligibility for unemployment compensation and food stamps

Means-testing!

Requires millionaires and billionaires to pay higher Medicare premiums

More means-testing!

Offsets costs by reducing the size of the federal workforce and extending the current federal employee pay freeze for three additional years, an idea from the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission

A Republican goal acheived through other means!

Includes the Buffett Rule Act, which allows taxpayers who feel they are not taxed enough to voluntarily donate any amount of money to the U.S. Treasury on their tax returns for the purpose of paying down the national debt

Gimmickry! Nothing currently prevents taxpayers from donating to the Treasury. There's a webpage set up to do just that. It's here. This is one reason why Democrats are already coughing this up like so much rancid egg nog.

"We are glad Republicans have seen the light and taken up Democrats' call to pass a middle-class tax cut, just a few days after their leadership indicated they would oppose it," said Reid spox Adam Jentleson in a statement. Alas: "The Republican proposal cannot pass the Senate as it stands, but now that Republicans have reversed their position on this middle-class tax cut, we look forward to working with them to negotiate a consensus solution."

Why not? It worked for the debt deal, in a manner of speaking.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful, a new book argues.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 30 2014 1:23 PM What Can Linguistics Tell Us About Writing Better? An Interview with Steven Pinker.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.