GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney came out today in support of extending the payroll tax holiday, which congressional Republicans are currently blocking. “I would like to see the payroll tax cut extended because I know that working families are really feeling the pinch right now,” Romney told conservative talk radio host Michael Medved, according to NBC News. Republicans — including Romney, until today — have been cool on extending of the middle-class tax cut because they demanded that it be offset so as to not impact the deficit. On Medved’s show today, Romney didn’t say whether he thought the holiday should be offset.
Previously, Romney has been dismissive of the holiday, which affects 95 percent of working families, but will expire at the end of the year if Congress does not act. Asked if he would extend the holiday at a GOP deabte in October, Romney said, “I don’t like temporary little Band-Aids, I want to fundamentally restructure America’s foundation economically.”
Romney, who made a fortune running Bain Capital, has been trying to fight off perceptions that he “represents the 1 percent,” as the conservative publisher of the influential New Hampshire Union Leader, and GOP presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, put it.
Despite their professed opposition to taxes of any kind, Republicans in Congress have already voted down two attempts to extend the payroll tax holiday, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) saying behind closed doors that the proposal was “chicken-shit.”