U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey: ‘Congress Is Completely Dysfunctional’
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With Congress’s own supercommittee unable to compromise, both sides were blaming each other and frustrated at the inability to agree on tax reforms and budget cuts.
“I think the Congress is completely dysfunctional,” U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano.
In a satellite interview, Toomey, a member of that supercommittee, said it was a debacle.
“It is certainly a source of great frustration for the American people and certainly the Pennsylvanians that I talk to.”
The failure means automatic budget cuts of $1.2 trillion beginning in 2013 — and military spending is not exempt from reductions — worrying Toomey.
“I think it should be configured differently. The current arrangement has fully half of those cuts coming out of defense,” says Toomey.
But without Republican compromise on taxing the wealthy, the President maintains, “There will be no easy off ramps on this one.”
Of more immediate concern, Social Security payroll taxes go up on January 1st.
In New Hampshire today, the president called on Congress to stop this tax hike.
“For the average family, your taxes will go up a thousand dollars if Congress does not act by the end of month.”
But Republicans like Toomey say payroll taxes should go up unless offset by budget cuts.
“It will depend on having the appropriate offsets and the right policy in place,” notes Toomey.
One year from now with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, it’s the wealthy — and many others — who will see income tax rates jump automatically.
“These rates have been in place since 2003, and the biggest tax increase in American history is looming at us.”
A tax hike likelier than ever, as Republicans and Democrats fail to work together.