Skip to comments.GOP Senator Under Fire from the Right
Posted on 03/29/2005 12:48:56 PM PST by hinterlander
A Republican senator promoting the idea of a payroll tax increase is under fierce attack by some conservatives.
Sen. Lindsey Graham's proposal to lift the $90,000 cap on payroll taxes to pay for Social Security reform has prompted the conservative Club for Growth to blanket his home state of South Carolina with television ads accusing the first-term Republican of proposing a "huge tax hike" that would hurt families and small businesses.
"Why Lindsey Graham? He is the one Republican who is by far the most outspoken advocate of lifting this cap and raising it very significantly. This would be a devastating tax increase," said former Rep. Pat Toomey, who now serves as the club's president. "He has designated himself in this role as the person who's going to try to bring the Democrats on board. But what has it accomplished? I think what it does is make it very difficult to get Democrats onto a good program, which is a reform that does not include a big tax increase."
Graham offered his proposal last fall in an effort to woo moderate Democrats, who he thought might join with President Bush to reform Social Security. But Graham's plan includes lifting the current $90,000 cap on payroll taxes--a plan conservatives, including the Club for Growth, have derided as a huge marginal tax increase. A Heritage Foundation analysis in February concluded that lifting the cap to $125,000 would increase taxes for 7 million middle-class families.
The ad pinpoints Graham as an obstacle to Bush's effort to add personal retirement accounts to Social Security. The 30-second spot declares: "There are good ideas . . . and there are bad ideas. President Bush wants to let workers save for retirement through Social Security personal accounts. Good idea. Sen. Lindsey Graham wants to include a huge tax hike. Really bad idea. Lindsey Graham's tax hike would hit millions of families, wipe out much of the Bush tax cut, and punish small businesses. Hey, Lindsey: You can't help someone save for retirement by raising their taxes."
Graham's office did not immediately respond to phone or e-mail messages from HUMAN EVENTS.
Conservatives have been troubled that the White House has not rejected Graham's plan outright. Bush has made ambiguous remarks regarding the payroll tax cap, suggesting he views it differently from the payroll tax rate, which stands at 12.4%. "The one thing I'm not open-minded about is raising the payroll tax rate. And all the other issues go on the table," Bush told reporters from six regional U.S. newspapers February 15.
When asked by HUMAN EVENTS about the White House's refusal to rule out lifting the payroll tax cap, Toomey redirected blame on congressional Republicans like Graham. "I think it's very important that we send a message that we don't want to see a bunch of Republicans coming on board and saying let's just raise taxes as a way to deal with this, and put the administration in a position where they have to decide whether to take it or leave it, that's the deal."
The advertising blitz against Graham is part of the second phase of a $10-million campaign launched by the Club for Growth in February. Ads are also being shown in the home states of Senators Ben Nelson (D.-Neb.) and Kent Conrad (D.-N.D.). Both Democrats hail from states where Bush won overwhelmingly in November.
Earlier this year, the Club for Growth targeted Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.-R.I.) and Representatives Sherwood Boehlert (R.-N.Y.) and Joe Schwarz (R.-Mich.). The three have made public comments suggesting their reluctance to support personal accounts.
He should be under attack by all conservatives...
Let's pass Ryan/Sununu already!! Come on!!
Graham seemed to have a bright future in SC but he must have been masquerading as a conservative. He would be fine as a Maine Republican but he won't last long in SC now.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you milk.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you the milk.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both, kills one and spills the milk in the sewage system.
You have 2 cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
If we have to have a social securiy system, then everyone who earns money has to pay for it. I don't think there should be any limit at the top end for payroll taxes. I think that everyone should pay the same proportion of payroll to the system. Otherwise, it is a regressive tax that hits disproportionately at the bottom of the income scale. Given that the marginal propensity to consume is higher at the bottom of the income scale, it would seem as if the top is somewhat insulated from taxation. Why is it that those who earn the least end up paying the most? I would rather see a flat rate imposed on every single dollar.
I take it, then, that you would also advocate that high-wage earners (i.e., those earning above the current "cap") be credited for the entirety of their annual wages when it comes to calculating their Social Security benefits?
Why not cut the taxes for people at the low end and middle as a means to ensure that everyone "pays the same proportion?" If you are for a flat tax, why not support that alternative instead of feeding even more money to the tax eaters!? At the same time, we can cut benefits and phase out this ponzie scheme the honest way. Deal?
"Sen. Lindsey Graham's proposal to lift the $90,000 cap on payroll taxes to pay for Social Security reform has prompted the conservative Club for Growth to blanket his home state of South Carolina with television ads accusing the first-term Republican of proposing a "huge tax hike" that would hurt families and small businesses."
Wow. The "Club for Growth" plays for keeps for their masters.
You said: "Why is it that those who earn the least end up paying the most?"
Flat out untrue!
The rich in America are an endangered species, being taxed out of existance by the tax and spend liberals.
We need to promote investment not punish it. Lay off the wealthy please. They are not the problem.
No wonder the GOP is commonly referred to as "The Stupid Party."
Obviously the solution is to double the tax on those making less than $90,000 because they are mostly Democrats.
Or would you prefer..."From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", hmm?