Beginning this week, the Democratic National Committee and its surrogates will be leveling charges of hypocrisy against House and Senate Republicans who oppose President Obama's wishes to extend a small cut in the payroll tax that can refund middle-income workers some $1,000 a year.
"It will be an ongoing campaign that will challenge both Republican presidential candidates and members of Congress, hammering the hypocrisy of individual members who signed the [anti-tax] pledge and use that pledge as an excuse to block tax increases on big oil and billionaires but plan to ignore the pledge to increase taxes on the middle class and the poor," said a top Democratic official. [See who will benefit from the slowing economy.]
At issue is the president's move last year to reduce the money Uncle Sam takes from paychecks for Social Security as a way to lend a hand to workers and maybe spark spending. Some 6.2 percent of a worker's wages are typically taken out of their check for Social Security. That was cut to 4.2 percent last year, providing $1,000 to a worker who earns $50,000.
Obama wants to continue that policy, but some Republicans claim that the government can't afford it. That, say Democrats, sets the GOP up for charges of hypocrisy because it wants to extend the Bush tax cuts that Democrats say will help the wealthy more than the middle class.
Republicans, however, say there is a big difference between the two. The Bush cuts, they say, were long-term cuts that helped to bolster the economy and build businesses while the payroll tax cut is a short-term effort that hasn't worked and should be scrapped for a new, more effective approach. [See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]
"The DNC wants to make sure every American knows who's fighting for them so we are launching a full scale coordinated campaign with members of Congress, state Democratic parties, and outside allied groups," said the Democratic official. "The major coordinated effort beginning this week will include press conferences, social media, and on the ground organizing in the following states: New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Iowa, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Missouri. The campaign will also include a strong push in the African American and Latino communities."