Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ryan's false arguments on payroll tax break exposed

Paul Ryan spoke out against and voted against extending the payroll tax cuts -- a position on which his House Republican colleagues finally faced reality and folded. Ryan says the long impasse over the issue caused the GOP some political damage, but he doesn't take any responsibility for that, of course.

Ryan says the problem is that the debate muddied the differences between the parties, but the real damage is from people seeing the real differences between them, and understanding which party -- the Democratic Psrty -- is willing to fight for the middle class and low-income families.
Think Progress says:
Last year, when Democrats and Republicans were negotiating a short-term extension of the payroll tax holiday, multiple Republicans pushed the false idea that extending the payroll tax cut would undermine Social Security by robbing its trust fund of vital revenue. Those claims were repeatedly debunked by media outlets, members of Congress, and even the Social Security Trust Fund’s chief actuary...
And while Ryan now claims to have “a problem” with diverting funds out of the Social Security Trust Fund and worries about “what happens” if such a plan is followed, he didn’t have the same concerns last year, when he proposed a privatization plan that would divert $1.2 trillion — a whopping 1,200 times the size of the payroll tax cut extension — out of the Social Security Trust Fund, and would only restore that money over the next quarter of a century through deep benefit cuts.
The Maddow Blog chimes in:
Ryan is somehow concerned about the integrity of Social Security. Remember Ryan's "Roadmap" budget plan? It had quite a few interesting ideas related to Social Security.
The Ryan plan proposes large cuts in Social Security benefits -- roughly 16 percent for the average new retiree in 2050 and 28 percent in 2080 from price indexing alone -- and initially diverts most of these savings to help fund private accounts rather than to restore Social Security solvency.
{T]hose who oppose Social Security shouldn't pretend to be its champions. If Paul Ryan opposes the middle-class tax cut, he should say so, and not behind a transparent fig leaf.
How Wisconsin members voted: Democrats — Baldwin, Y; Kind, N; Moore, Y. Republicans — Duffy, Y; Petri, N; Ribble, Y; Ryan, N; Sensenbrenner, N. In the Senate, Herb Kohl voted yes and Ron Johnson no.

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