After Democrats blocked Republican attempts to poison the payroll tax cut extension with the Keystone XL Pipeline, mandatory drug tests for unemployment benefit recipients, and more. Republicans finally found that they had boxed themselves into a political corner from which they escape only by giving-in, which they did on all but one thing. They still refuse to make millionaires, billionaires and corporate criminals share the burden that their greed has imposed on the rest of us. And already, Republicans are lying about it.
Last year, when Democrats and Republicans were negotiating a short-term extension of the payroll tax holiday, multiple Republicans pushed the false idea that extending the payroll tax cut would undermine Social Security by robbing its trust fund of vital revenue. Those claims were repeatedly debunked by media outlets, members of Congress, and even the Social Security Trust Fund’s chief actuary.
Republicans, however, either missed that debunking or have willfully ignored it. With Congress nearing a deal to extend the cut through 2012, GOP leaders like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who as the House Budget Committee chairman has positioned himself as the party’s top budget and finance authority, is again pushing the false notion that the payroll tax cut will hurt Social Security, as The Hill reported today:
Ryan warned that the the move could erode the Social Security Trust Fund, which is funded by the payroll tax.
“Members on our side of the aisle are divided on this question. I personally have a problem with what happens with the Social Security trust fund. So people are divided on this; the Democrats agreed to it, I’d say I don’t really know what the number of Republicans are that agree to it, so they basically decided to bring it to the floor and let Congress work its will, and let people vote however they want to,” Ryan said during an interview with WLS Radio in Chicago.
As Jared Bernstein, the former chief economist to Vice President Biden, wrote in December, the payroll tax holiday was specifically crafted to protect Social Security by requiring the nation’s general fund to replace any lost revenues in the trust fund… [emphasis original]
Inserted from <Think Progress>
Two days ago I was mistaken that losses to the trust fund would not ne replaced, because I did not yet know that the deal has a provision to replace all lost revenues in the trust fund from the general fund. So when Ryan says that it will erode the Social Security trust fund, he is lying, although Ryan lying will surprise nobody.
I do find breaking the wall between the trust fund and the general fund disturbing, but I find that far less disturbing than Republicans protecting the super rich from sharing the sacrifice.