Let’s Take Senator Hatch Seriously

Orrin Hatch Senator Orrin Hatch doesn’t want to extend the payroll tax cut, which reduced employees’ Social Security contributions from 6.2 percent of taxable wages and salaries to 4.2 percent. If Congress does not continue the payroll tax cut or replace it with a comparably sized temporary tax rebate, declining consumption and related economic activity will decrease employment by almost one million jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Failure to continue the payroll tax cut would reduce the average family’s disposable income by $920 next year, making another recession more likely. What is Senator Hatch’s explanation for wanting to raise taxes on the middle class? From the Salt Lake Tribune:

“I cannot support extending tax policies that were intended to be temporary and that have proven to be ineffective at creating jobs or stimulating economic growth,” said Hatch, R-Utah.

Interesting. Especially when you consider that the Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich, extended last year by the Democratic Congress, are (1) intended to be temporary and (2) have proven to be ineffective (over an entire decade) at creating jobs or stimulating economic growth. So let’s take Senator Hatch at his word. We have his pledge to vote against any attempt to extend the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts next year. If Congress doesn’t pass another set of tax cuts for the rich, that alone will go most of the way toward solving the long-term deficit problem and reducing the National Debt.

UPDATE: The GOP cannot explain why tax cuts for the rich do not create jobs.

As Center for American Progress Director of Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden found, “in the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now.” In fact, “if you ranked each year since 1950 by overall job growth, the top five years would all boast marginal tax rates at 70 percent or higher.” The GOP… simply has no explanation for these facts.

  1. #1 by Rico on December 4, 2011 - 7:45 am

    Of necessity, Hatch must therefore believe that allowing the payroll tax cuts to expire will create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

    What a tool of immense proportions.

  2. #2 by Larry Bergan on December 4, 2011 - 9:20 am

    Orrin has defined himself as the consummate entrepreneur of playing both sides of the fence.

    No thanks, dude.

  3. #3 by Karmen on December 5, 2011 - 7:14 am

    Do you think he really knows what he’s saying anymore or has he completely lost his mind?

    This is a quote from an email, (can you imagine how happy I am to see “Correspondence from Senator Orrin Hatch” in my mailbox?):

    One thing that is not included in the list of recommendations I submitted is a call for tax increases. With the national unemployment rate continuing to hover near double digits, now is not the time to raise taxes on anyone. While some in Washington continue to think that raising taxes on Utah’s working families and job creators will strengthen the economy, I completely disagree. Cutting taxes on struggling families and on small businesses fighting to grow and create jobs is a proven recipe for strengthening our economy.

    Whether he can see it or not, doesn’t he have anyone near him who can point out the hypocrisy of the payroll tax and the Bush tax cuts? Or is this just how politics works now — count on people just hearing the immediate words and not thinking or questioning any deeper?

  4. #4 by Richard Warnick on December 5, 2011 - 10:18 am

    It’s hard to reconcile “cutting taxes on struggling families” with an almost $1,000 tax increase on an average household. Which is what Senator Hatch wants to do, according to what he said to the Salt Lake Tribune.

    Luckily there’s little chance that Hatch’s fellow Republicans are going to raise taxes on the middle class going into an election year.

  5. #5 by cav on December 5, 2011 - 10:32 am

    Even if Orrin knows what he’s saying, I’m not at all sure that it means what he thinks it means, or that it means what he would have us think it means. Too many years of creating their own realities for me to continue my faith. All bets are off.

  6. #6 by Karmen on December 5, 2011 - 10:38 am

    There are too many like Hatch in positions of policy-making. They have created “their own little realities” but are still making policy that affects all of us. I would hope that, as Richard said, Hatch’s fellow republicans have better sense, but, as you say, “all bets are off.”

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