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Jackson Citizen Patriot: U.S. Rep Tim Walberg Says Budget Impact of Payroll Tax Deal will Determine His Vote

January 25, 2013
Tim In The News

By: Bob Wheaton

A payroll tax cut agreement must not add too much to the national debt and budget deficit if he’s going to vote for it, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg said.

Walberg, R-Tipton, told the Citizen Patriot on Wednesday afternoon that he still hasn’t decided if he’ll vote for the measure when it goes before the House — possibly on Friday.

He said he’s waiting for more details. “I think bottom-line cost and the ultimate impact on the deficit and the debt,” Walberg said when asked what will be the key factors in his decision. Walberg, whose district includes Jackson County, said a deal that House Republican leaders agreed to support on Tuesday is not as good as a House-Republican proposal last December that was rejected by the Democratic-led Senate.

But he said the extension of the payroll tax cut in and of itself is positive.

“Certainly $40 more in a paycheck for a hardworking taxpayer is helpful,” he said of the $20-a-week tax reduction.

Under the deal, a 2 percentage-point cut in the Social Security payroll tax would be extended through the end of the year, with the nearly $100 billion cost added to the deficit, the Associated Press reported.

Jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed would be renewed, the AP reported, with the estimated $30 billion cost paid for in part through auctioning broadcast spectrum to wireless companies and requiring federal workers to contribute more toward their pensions.

Walberg criticized President Barack Obama and what he called the “do-nothing Senate,” saying Republicans made concessions because the Democrats wouldn’t make spending cuts to replace the lost tax revenues.

"It's still a concern to me that the dollars that we are giving in the extended payroll tax holiday are actually the Social Security tax," Walberg said. "And if those dollars aren't going to Social Security, the question ought to come up as to how are those going to be replaced?"

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