Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) took to the streets yesterday — the “streets” for the GOP being Fox News — to slam the Obama Administration’s plan to impose a minimum tax on incomes over $1 million as “class warfare“:
“Class warfare . . . may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics.”
On the same program, Ryan said that he is opposed to extending a cut in the payroll tax on incomes up to $106,000, which is scheduled to expire at the end of this year:
“this particular idea was tried in the Bush administration, earlier in the Obama administration. It hasn’t worked, and especially when you’re taking these temporary tax rebates and paying for them with permanent tax increases, that is actually self-defeating.”
- Raising taxes on incomes over $1 million is class warfare
- Permitting temporary tax cuts to expire is a tax increase
- Permitting a tax cut benefiting workers earning up to $106,000 is not class warfare
Ryan has positioned himself as the “heart and soul” of today’s GOP. Earlier this year, he authored a long-term plan that radically alters Medicare by making it essentially a voucher system that would increase healthcare costs for seniors. His “Path To Prosperity” seeks to cut social spending and reduce the top tax rate on individuals and corporations to 25%.
The undercurrent of Ryan’s path to prosperity is that the people he calls “job creators” are already taxed too much:
“Look, if you tax something more . . . you get less. If you tax job creators more, you get less job creation. If you tax investment more, you get less investment.”
“Officially, income over $379,150 is supposed to be taxed at 35%. And even 35 percent is a pittance compared to the first three decades after World War II. Before Ronald Reagan slashed taxes on the rich in 1981, the highest marginal tax rate was over 70 percent. Under Dwight Eisenhower it was 91 percent. Even if you include deductions and credits, the rich are now paying a far lower share of their incomes in taxes than at any time since World War II.”
Yet, for Paul Ryan, any hint of increasing taxes on people earning more than $1 million annually smacks of “class warfare.” Ryan said yesterday, though, that he supports increasing taxes on incomes up to $106,000 a year. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like “class warfare” to me.