In a clear display of misplaced priorities, congressional fiscal super committee member Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) entirely dismissed the idea of extending the payroll tax cut for middle class families yesterday, even though failure to do so “would reduce GDP growth by 0.5 percent and cost the economy 400,000 jobs.” “The payroll tax holiday has not stimulated job creation. We do not think that is a great way to do it,” he told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.
But practically in the same breath, Kyl refused to even consider a small (and publicly-supported) tax increase on America’s millionaires to pay for the payroll tax cut extension. “Taxing the people who provide the jobs, you put off the day that we have economic recovery and job creation in this country. That’s precisely what the Democratic plan would do”:
KYL: The second problem is that by taxing the people who provide the jobs, you put off the day we have economic recovery and job creation in this country. And that’s precisely what the Democratic plan would do. It would hit those people, the small businesses who we all acknowledge are the ones who create the jobs coming out of economic difficulty. And that we think would be a big mistake in —
WALLACE: If I may, Senator Kyl, just to cut this short, are you saying no deal on extending payroll tax cuts?
KYL: The payroll tax holiday has not stimulated job creation. We don’t think that is a good way to do it.
Incidentally, a small tax increase on millionaires would not affect most small businesses and the businesses it does affect note that such minute increases make “zero difference” in their hiring practices. When Wallace noted that economists say a failure to extend the payroll tax cut along with jobless benefits could “cost more than half a million jobs,” Kyl responded, “I don’t know who those economists are. I just read a piece by a respected economist Art Laffer who says that isn’t true.” Of course, Laffer — a former Ronald Reagan adviser — is known for bragging about Reagan’s tax increases on low-income Americans.