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Democratic National Committee sticking it to Romney over Band-Aid remark

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WASHINGTON--The Democratic National Committee is trying to raise money off of GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney remark that Obama's payroll tax breaks are just a "temporary little Band-Aids."

Romney made the comment at the Oct. 11 Republican debate at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire. GOP contenders debate again Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Pressed by Bloomberg News Julianna Goldman at the debate, "So you would be OK with seeing the payroll tax cuts," Romney replied, "Look, I don't like temporary little Band-Aids, I want to fundamentally restructure America's foundation economically.

"No one likes to see tax increases, but look, the stimulus bills the president comes out with that are supposedly going to create jobs, we have now seen this played in the theater several times, and what we're seeing has not worked," Romney said.

The DNC and the Obama team have been slamming Romney for the Band-Aid comparison, with the DNC on Friday releasing a web video.

Friday's react from Romney spokesman Ryan Williams on the band-aide attack: "These baseless attacks confirm that President Obama and his campaign see Mitt Romney as the one candidate who can beat him. The Democrats continue to offer deflections and diversions from what really matters, which is President Obama's failure to create jobs. President Obama has turned America into an economic disaster zone. The only question is whether we can make it to the election of 2012 before Obama takes us all the way back to 1929."

From the DNC on Monday: At a recent Republican debate, Mitt Romney declared that President Obama's proposal to cut taxes for the middle class--tax relief that amounts to $1,500 of extra cash for the typical American family--is nothing more than "temporary little Band-Aids."

So if you, like Romney, can forgo the money for four months of groceries, seven months of gasoline, or a full year's electricity bill, we're pleased to offer a box of Mitt Romney-brand Temporary Little Band-Aids, helpfully priced by Romney himself at $1,500.

(Not for medical use. Side effects of using this product include feeling out of touch.)

The Obama team could do a much better job in explaining the tax break.

Anyone who gets a regular paycheck will see deductions on a paystub for Social Security. This year, the amount of the deduction--also called withholding-has been reduced.

The Social Security payroll tax is 6.2 percent for workers and companies. Under a measure Congress approved in 2010--effective this year, 2011-- that rate dropped to 4.2 percent for workers and no break for firms. That break was to last only one year.

What does this mean to you? If you make $106,800 a year, the maximum saving is $2,136. (Social Security taxes are applied to only the first $106,800 of earnings.)

Let's look at it another way: If you make $500 a week, you get a $10 weekly tax cut. If you make $1,000 each week, your break is $20; a $1,500 weekly salary earner pays $30 less in payroll taxes.

What's new: Obama is proposing that workers pay only 3.1 percent in extending the break for another year.

For someone earning $106,800 or more -- (taxes on Social Security are capped on the first $106,800 in wages), the savings would be about $3,300 a year.

If you make $1,000 a week, you paid $62 dollars a week for Social Security in 2010, $42 weekly in 2011 and you would pay $31 in 2012.

Obama is asking Congress to allow companies to pay half the tax -- 3.1 percent on the first $5 million in payroll, a feature intended to especially help small firms. Employers would further save money if they hired new workers or gave raises because under Obama's plan, they would not have to pay any payroll taxes for them. This provision would be capped at a $50 million payroll.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 17, 2011 3:21 PM.

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