Republicans seek more “skin” to tax

May 10, 2011

When it comes to reaching a deal to reduce the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt, Republicans say they won’t go along with raising taxes — except maybe for the 50 percent of Americans who they say pay no federal income taxes.

Two senior Republicans said this week that those folks on the lower end of the income scale need to have “skin in the game” and should pay their fair share of federal income taxes.

“I would not impose a significant tax on the lower half or certainly not the lower 10 percent,” explained Senator Jon Kyl in a Senate speech. “But I think it’s important for all Americans to know that we all have a stake in this and that more than half of the people can’t just expect the so-called wealthy to bear all of the burdens of government.”

House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said House Republicans plan to push for tax reform that lowers rates for corporations and individuals, reduces a number of tax breaks and broadens the tax base.

“We have got nearing 50 percent of the people in this country who don’t pay income taxes,” Cantor told reporters. “I think most people would say everybody should have some skin in the game and pay their fair share.”

Raising taxes on middle and lower income people while lowering tax rates for corporations and higher income people  might be a tough sell to voters. Public opinion polls show that a strong majority want to raise taxes on the wealthy to reduce deficits and debt.

Democrats have called for raising taxes on the wealthy and note that wage earners pay Social Security and other payroll taxes even if they don’t make enough to pay income taxes.

Photo credit:  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (House Majority Leader Cantor rings opening bell at New York Stock Exchange)

2 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

LOL. Republicans home of tax the poor, maybe if you can whack one of those poor hard enough they’ll straiten up and fly rite! let’s get rid of that Medicare to and privatize social security float it on the stock market- screw grandma as long as you don’t have to look after her.
ridiculous sick useless idiots.

Posted by Dave1968 | Report as abusive

“We have got nearing 50 percent of the people…” are you kidding me? This guy is House Republican Leader?? Yikes!!
Let’s hope he includes ExxonMobil, Chevron, GE, Valero Energy, and many more in his “50%” category, or maybe start a new one–they not only paid no federal tax, but received refunds, as well!

Posted by AmandaLacasse | Report as abusive

[...] tax“, ignoring the Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, plus state and local taxes.) Cantor, Bachmann and others have been singing this tune [...]