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November 30, 2011

McConnell explains GOP's willingness to back payroll tax cut

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated Wednesday that Republicans will support an extension of this year's 2 percentage point payroll tax cut--but in doing so, he said, it's a reminder of how Democrats have hurt the economy.

And he won't agree to the Democrats current proposal for paying for it, a surtax on millionaires.

Here's some of McConnell's reasoning, from a Senate floor speech earlier Wednesday:

“The President and Democrats in Congress are saying we ought to recoup the revenue we won’t get from one group of taxpayers by socking it to another group, a significant number of whom happen to be employers. What this really means is that one way or another they want the money coming back to Washington — so that the President and his allies in Congress can divvy it up how they want, protecting and aiding the politically-favored few.

“And this really sums up the whole story of this President and the economic policies he’s promoted over the past few years: send your money to Washington — so the President and his allies in Congress can spend it their way, on things like turtle tunnels or bailing out politically-connected investors at failing solar companies.

"The Democrats can say they just want some people to pay a little bit more to cover this or that dubious proposal. But what they don’t tell you is that 80 percent of the people they want to tax are business owners — in other words, the very people we’re counting on to create the jobs that we need in this country. Think about that: the Democrats’ response to the jobs crisis we’re in right now is to raise taxes on those who create jobs. This isn’t just counterproductive. It’s absurd.

“And that brings me to my second point, which is this: the only reason we’re even talking about extending a temporary cut in the payroll tax right now; the only reason we’re even talking about extending unemployment insurance right now, is because President Obama’s economic policies have failed working Americans. Democrats and liberal pundits are fond of saying that Republicans are rooting against the economy. But it’s easy to refute that one. If Republicans wanted the economy to stall, we’d just stand on the sidelines and wave through everything this president and his Democrat allies in Congress propose.

"That’s what the Democrats did for two years, and now we’re living with the results. Unemployment’s still stuck at around nine percent. Fourteen million Americans are looking for work and can’t find it. Millions more are underemployed or have given up on finding a job altogether. And here we are, three years into this presidency, still talking about temporary stimulus measures."

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