Tester: Both payroll tax proposals won’t create jobs

Senator plans to vote against both payroll tax proposals

(U.S. SENATE) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced he will vote against two different proposals dealing with the Social Security payroll tax, saying both plans are “gimmicks designed more for political posturing” rather than job creation, business certainty and deficit reduction.

Tester released the following statement prior to scheduled votes on both plans:

“This week the Senate will vote on two different proposals dealing with the Social Security payroll tax. One proposal is from the Democrats; the other is from Senate Republicans. Neither proposal is expected to pass.

I want to tell you exactly why I’m going to vote against both proposals. I believe they are gimmicks—designed more for political posturing rather than what Congress really ought to be doing: working together to create jobs on a long-term basis, to create long-term certainty for Montana’s businesses, and to cut spending and cut our deficit.

The Democrats’ proposal is the same plan included in President’s American Jobs Act, which I voted against several weeks ago. My reasons for voting against that proposal haven’t changed. It would temporarily extend the Social Security payroll tax holiday through 2012 and expand it to businesses big and small—paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy. 

Although I support making sure millionaires and corporations pay their fair share in taxes, I do not believe this particular proposal will create jobs or give our economy the boost it needs right now. A small, one-year, temporary tax cut will not give Main Street businesses the long-term certainty they need to grow and hire.

The proposal by Senate Republicans also temporarily extends the payroll tax holiday, but only by cutting certain Medicare benefits, cutting jobs and extending the current pay freeze for folks in public service.

Neither of these proposals is right for Montana, and neither will earn my vote.
Since coming to the U.S. Senate just a few years ago, I have supported nearly $1.4 trillion in tax cuts for small businesses and middle-class Americans. And I do not want to see working folks get hit with a payroll tax increase next year. But this week, the Senate will vote on bills that are written with 30-second political attack ads in mind. That’s the wrong approach to solving a serious problem.

In November, Congress unanimously passed my veterans’ jobs bill, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. The President already signed it into law. I believe Congress has a responsibility to spend more time passing legislation like that–real solutions that create real jobs in Montana and across this country. Not gimmicks or political theater. And I know we can do it. It was appropriate for us to work together for veterans. It is also appropriate for us to work together to create jobs for all Americans.”