Earlier this week, 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney threw his support to extending a the payroll tax cut that will expire at the end of the year, joining Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Jon Huntsman amongst the GOP contenders backing it. Given the opportunity to do the same during an interview today on CNN, however, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) flat-out rejected extending either that tax cut or soon-to-expure unemployment benefits, which would raise taxes on 113 million households and cut millions of people off of vital unemployment aid:
Q: So you would rather make sure that millionaires don’t pay even a little bit more — one or two percent — next year?
PERRY: What I’m looking for Wolf, is a president that will get this country back working and that temporary tax hike [sic] on that payroll tax is not even close to getting started.
Q: So you would vote against it?
PERRY: Absolutely, I’d vote against it. Get people to work.
Q: What about extending unemployment benefits?
PERRY: No, that is giving incentives for people to be unemployed.
Republicans in the Senate filibustered a Democratic plan that would have extended the payroll tax cut and paid for it by implementing a tiny surtax on income in excess of $1 million. Several economic analysts have found that failure to extend the tax cut would cost the economy hundreds of thousands of jobs next year. Perry is also wrong that extending unemployment benefits is an incentive to remain unemployed. Research from the San Francisco Federal Reserve has shown that those on unemployment benefits stay unemployed less than two weeks longer than those without any access to benefits.