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.

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U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey

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  • tocchet

    demorats are dysfunctional, take a look at the city of pgh.

  • gman

    Tocchet. Did you vote for Toomey so you can have your SS benefits cut?

    • Zoeyzotron

      GMAN – here are your choices, take a cut today or wait and get nothing later.

      SS as it is today WILL FAIL. It is a mathmatical certainty.

      the same can be said for Welfare, Medicare, etc….

    • Robert

      Soical Security is anything but secure. i would galdly opt out today and they can keep everything i already “donated” just as long as I never have to contribute another penny to it again.

      If you counted solely on social security to retire you have a made a serious error. Better get back in the work force.

      • Phillip Battista

        Social Security is solvent, stop listening to fox news for all your talking points. If we lifted the cap on contribution it would allow us to collect off the CEOs and ultra-wealthy. As for all other social safety programs: If we seek to fund them properly they’ll be their for generations to come and people were meant to retire on social security. It’s designed to be enough, not a great deal more, but enough. The problem is that medical needs are taking away from seniors.

  • Hwright

    Really the Republicans will not budge on the Tax increases on the rich??? And you blame this on the Democrats??

    • just curios

      Yeah you can start with the 1 billion dollars in back taxes that Warren Buffett owes to start, woah , wait isn’t this the SUPER RICH DEMOCRAT who complained how his secretary pays more than he does.
      How come all the democrats complain about taxes yet guys like Charlie Rangle and Buffett and other democommies owe back taxes ?
      I also wonder if you and gman even pay taxes? Just curious.

    • Zoeyzotron

      HWRIGHT – Just how much do you want the “rich” to pay? Keep in mind the top 10% in this country pay 85% of the taxes. i think they do their fair share.

      How about the bottom half start taking less or maybe just maybe they start contributing to society as well.


      • Hwright

        Zoey you can preach all you want how the rich pay such high taxes. If they actually paid the taxes I would be happy but unfortunately they do not! There are plenty of tax loop holes to reduce their taxes every year! It is unfair and very unbalanced. Take you BLINDFOLD off!!! I am not on a free ride! Empty the CUP OF KOOLAID you are drinking.

      • Zoey For President 2012

        Zoey please keep preaching your facts, Hwright has gotten a sour batch of koolaid,

      • Phillip Battista

        The top 10% can afford to pay those taxes. The bottom half work for the top 10% as wage laborers and will never be able to escape that cycle. So maybe if we raised minimum wage to something more livable they would be happy to pay. The social safety net is giving to those who don’t have enough because the corporations see fit to keep all the money for themselves. If you need a better example I suggest you look up wal-mart and their practice of advocating workers to seek welfare benefits while working for their store.

      • Clint Eastwood

        Hey Phil, this is where your thinking is incorrect. The bottom 10% don’t do anything, they don’t labor, are you kidding. they collect Welfare.

        If you care about them so much then YOU take care of them. As for me, I already do enough. so don’t you DARE ask me.

      • Sonja Jones

        The truth is when a company pays a worker minimum wage and offers no retirement plan and lousy medical benefits there is no way possible to save for the future. When the worker is fighting to get or keep one of these jobs there is no hope for the future of our economy.
        Also, social security is flawed because it allows two people to take out at the same time when only one person worked all their life, I know women who never worked a day in their life and they collect their husband’s social security starting at age 62 and continuing till they die. In the meantime, the husband is also collecting. The problem with social security could be solved immediately if only the person who paid in would take the benefits. Pension plans should be the same, that is why they are all or will be going bankrupt. It’s simple, if you did not work, go to your family in your old age, don’t expect the taxpayers to keep you.

    • Mad Hatter

      Hwright, the Democrats will not budge on the poor taking less….

      the takers are overtaking the givers…..

  • gman

    But zoey the top 10% have 85% of the money. In fact,the 400 wealthiest Americans have as much money as the 150 million poorest. The wealth has been redistributed upward for the last 30 years.
    A person that makes $106,000 a year pays the same SS tax as the person who makes $106 million. Fix that and the problem is solved. BTW,that person making $106 million will still be rich.

    • Zoeyzotron

      But Gman, they earned it.

      thats what living in the great USA provides you, an OPPORTUNITY (and thats the key word) to do as you wish, educate yourself, start a business, work 18 hours a day or none at all. Everyone born in this country has a chance to become wealthy. Its a question of what choices folks make.

      It is not the job of the wealthy to supply for everyone else. What is wrong with everyone taking care of them selves, like adults?

      Beyond the disabled and the elderly, I am just not willing to give (or have taken) any more. I work too hard and I already do enough.

      • Hwright

        There is no hope for you. You have no morals. MONEY MONEY MONEY! What do you do outside of working and making yourself RIch? And supporting the Rich. Do you not understand that there is a need for a middleclass and the lower class? Do you not understand that the cost of living has increased far faster than the income of everyone except the RICH? Who has the control of this? Does it bother you that there are people that have no desire to become rich and just like the way they are living?

      • Zoey For President 2012

        Zoey, note that Hwright feels some people like the way they are living and do not desire to be rich, and because of that he ignores any other facts.
        While you Zoey are one of the smarter people I see Hwrite calling others blind and stupid and has only a selective and selfish vision of what is not reality.

      • Zoeyzotron

        Hwright, i typically do not respond to you because your vies clearly have been influenced by labor unions and socilaists alike. Its a waste of my time, you will pull the democrate lever blindly for the rest of your days.

        My morals are directed to serving my family, friends, religion and this country. I do that by working hard, being self sufficient, not depending on other to provide for me.

        Finally, I could care less if you sit on you fat a$$ all day, and watch reruns of oprah. Here’s the catch, JUST DON’T ask me the taxpayer for a handout.

      • Hwright

        Twelve Corporations Pay Effective Tax Rate of Negative 1.4% on $175 Billion in Profits; Reap $63.7 Billion in Tax Subsidies



      • Hwright

        30 Companies average less than zero tax bill in the last three Years, 78 had at least one no-tax year.

        280 Most Profitable U.S. Corporations Shelter Half Their Profits from Taxes.
        These 280 corporations received a total of nearly $224 billion in tax subsidies
        This is wasted money that could have gone to protect Medicare, create jobs and cut the deficit!


      • Hwright



      • Zoeyzotron

        HWRIGHT – Also, just so you know, the cost of living has inflated because of a rapidly deflating dollar. do you know why the dollar is now worthless? Heres a clue, debt that has surpassed our GDP and rapid printing of unbacked currency.
        Bush spent too much too, but obama has spent and printed at a rate never seen by the eye of man, EVER.

        We will ALL greatly suffer from this in the years to come.

      • Zoeyzotron

        Whats your point? Its not enough anyway, did you see my comments on the 10 largest companies below? Also, your data fails to account for Capital Gains Taxes and also how about the MILLIONs that work for them… they all pay taxes…

        That said:
        Vote for Cain, and they will all pay 9%. I am ALL FOR IT!

      • Hwright

        But you dont mind giving to the wealthiest!
        I care less about the stock market wish it would crash does nothing for me! 401k tanks eveytime some fat cat says so! Banks can fail DONT CARE!

      • hwright

        Extending the Bush tax cuts from 2013 through 2022 would cost $5.4 trillion.

        Hey thats ok it was a REPUBLICAN idea

      • Zoeyzotron

        HWright, we are never going to agree. You do it your way and I’ll go about it my way. have a good Thanksgiving.

      • hwright
      • Mad Hatter

        HW – “Extending the Bush tax cuts from 2013 through 2022 would COST $5.4 trillion” – that is exactly the problem with your (and our current admin) thinking. Its not a cost, it can not be a cost!!! Its not their damn money!!!! It is simply a reduction in income.

        The government will have to learn to live within their means or we will fail as a nation… and then you will really see what poor looks like.

      • Hwright

        Hey I can agree with you on that one! Have a Happy Thanksgiving

    • Mad Hatter

      Why are they poor?… Everyone makes choices in life. Every action has a consequence…

      Also, there are very few people in the country that i would condider truly poor. Try traveling outside of the US.

  • Zoeyzotron

    Gman – again how much should they give? Top end earners are already taxed well into the 60% range, factoring in payroll taxes, sales taxes (they buy more than you or I), realestate taxes, consumption taxes….
    If you pi$$ them off, they may decide to join the takers one day… then what…

    Also, her is something else for you to think about. this country does not have an income issue, rather a SPENDING ISSUE. These are facts.

    What if we taxed corporations at 100% of total Profits…Let’s take it all…

    If you take the 10 largest companies in this country(2010) (in order, WalMart, Exxon, Chevron, GE, Bank of America, Conoco, AT&T, Ford, JP Morgan, and H.P.) their TOTAL 100% Profits in 2010 were 101 Billion dollars….

    That would pay for 2.8% of THIS YEARS BUDGET… Or another way to look at it is that oBama would have it all your new tax revenue spent in 11 DAYS… Yet another way to look at it…. You new 100 B would cover 1/5 of welfare for one year…..

    Also, in 2011 Bank of America has already posted 2.5 billion in losses… so I guess that revenue will be gone for the tax man the next year.

    Additional taxes are not the answer. Additional taxpayers are the answer, which oBama does not believe in (the sole reason he will be gone in 2013). More major layoffs are coming, watch the next 6 months.. Unemployment of 10%+ is easily coming. (And you do realize that’s a BS #, it is really 17.6+%)

    One other fact I found hilarious, GOVERNMENT OPERATED Fannie Mae is 5th is total revenue, collecting 153 Billion dollars…. posting a 14 billion dollar LOSS…. and you want to let this government run more? Are you completely NUTS?

    • Hwright

      Some profitable corporations enjoy so many tax loopholes that they pay no federal corporate income taxes. Over the last three years, General Electric made $10.5 billion in profits, but had an effective corporate income tax rate of negative 45.3 percent. That means that instead of paying taxes, GE received $4.7 billion from the IRS.1 It’s outrageous for Congress to discuss cutting
      public investments and services for working people while ignoring these corporate tax loopholes.
      Corporate leaders complain about the 35 percent federal corporate income tax rate but fail to mention that the percentage of profits their companies actually pay in taxes is much lower because of the loopholes they enjoy. 2 In fact, the U.S. has the second lowest corporate taxes, measured as a percentage of the economy, in the industrialized world.3 Unfortunately, lawmakers of both parties say that if these corporate tax loopholes are removed, the resulting revenue savings should be given back to corporations through a reduction in their
      tax rate. Hundreds of organizations have urged Congress to take a different approach by ending these loopholes and using the revenue saved for public investments that benefit working people.

      • No sour union koolaid for me thanks

        Saved for PUBLIC INVESTMENTS sounds like Large Government to me, and benefit working people .
        Benefit how maybe more investments to Solyndra, IRS agents, maybe they can hire more agents to raid the Gibson Guitar Factory, maybe hire more protesters for the OWS, oh I’m sorry that’s already paid for by the AFL-CIO .
        5.4 trillion how about a cash stimulus for all Working Citizens and Seniors in the PRIVATE SECTOR which is where the majority of the money comes from in the first place.
        G.W. Bush gave me 1,200 dollars Obama gave me 0 except for the big headache of his Large Government ways.

      • Robert

        1) GE is in bed with OBAMA. Its no secret.
        2) Like Zoey said, vote for CAIN, 9% for corporations, no loopholes.
        3) You simply continue to ignore the fact the no matter how much they tax it can not keep pace with government spening at its current rate.

  • PGH Michelle

    Zoey, GREAT research! not to mention that if we actually did tax them that much they would clearly go out of business laying off Millions and destroy the stock market, hurting hundresd of millions more.

  • Zoey For President 2012

    Zoey I also agree, great research I learn a lot listening to you. Kdka tried to stop me from posting this with an error sign saying I’m posting to fast, when I initially tried to post this comment

  • gman

    Here`s better research. When Eisenhower was president the wealthiest were taxed at a rate of 91%. They didn`t leave the country. They created jobs. What developed country could they go to today and pay less? There is none.

    • Zoeyzotron

      GMAN – interesting that you point that out… the industrial revolution was still in full swing in this country during the 50’s… interesting how the collapse started shortly after his term (withing 7 years). also, Eisenhower’s econimic policies have gone down as some of the worst this country has ever enacted.

      Also, the math used to arrive at the 91% is typical government funny math…

      I would counter you second question by saying “who cares”, We live in the greatest country in the world, why would we want to copy someother nation and lower our standards? Greece has high tax rates….

      • Phillip Battista

        Zoey is the biggest idiot I’ve read all day….

        First: Eisenhower’s policies affected far more non-industrial firms than industrial ones. The US since the beginning of the 20th century was dealing more in light industry and services than anything else. More could be attributed to the decline with globalization of production than anything else. European production was back up and Japan/Korea/China were starting to reach parity as well.

        Second: “Funny Math” is a term used by stupid people when they’re losing an argument. Realistically no corporation paid that high a tax because the tax was designed to force the corporation to spend money on R&D, wages, and investments rather than paying out huge dividends to stockholders. Capitalism works on reinvesting the majority of the profits back into the system.

        Third: The whole concept that corporations leave to avoid taxes is simply untrue. Large corporations leave to pay lower wages. The reason manufacturers left the US was that they could pay slave-like wages to Chinese workers or Mexican workers and still be allowed to import due to free trade rules. Fair trade is what people should want. But you’re so blinded by your own stupidity and hatred of others it makes you vote for those who would pick your pockets rather than those who would line them.

      • No Hate Here Only Facts

        Mr Battista, I see a lot of 1/2 truth in what you say I do believe workers at wall mart seek partial benefits from welfare but I’m not so sure wall mart initiates it, do you?
        I also think companies move overseas to seek out lower cost labor, mostly to get away from the unions.
        I personally know someone that made 30 dollars an hour union wage in 1993 only to lose his job because the company went under they could not compete.
        As far as medical benefits for seniors I thought our supreme leader Obama took care of the with the forced healthcare law.
        Government spending is out of control Zoey is right about that and raising taxes is not going to solve out of control spending, smaller government will.
        I would vote democrat BUT they were the majority in both houses since 2007-2010 and Obama has been President since 2009 when most of this money was spent and NOTHING is better, I’ll vote for something else in 2012 and you can keep the change.

  • gman
  • Warlock Jones

    ….Clearly Hwight is a bitter, poor, lazy, jealous man. I ask, why don’t you just take care of yourself instead of consistently worrying about your gravy train….

    • Hwright

      uh…… NO

      Believe ME if wall street and the banks fail you FAIL…. AHAHAHAHHAHAHA


      HAIL OWS!!!!!!

      • Right Jr.

        Yeah hail to the AFL-CIO hired OWS!!!!!!

  • gman

    A CEO in Japan makes 12 times what his employees make,on the average. In the U.S. a CEO makes 400 times what his employee makes and the sheep worry about him paying too much in taxes.

  • gman

    Let`s see,my father is a 90 year old WW2 vet who worked in the steel mill for 43 years and the republinuts want to cut his SS to keep Toomey from paying more taxes. A guy who`s never contributed a thing to his country and never held a real job.

  • ritzee

    Seems everyone can be at blame here for this debacle with the debt crisis. I am most ashamed of our congress who we hired to make some difficult decisions. Instead we have pouting idealogical brats that will only accept their parties position. Where is it in a democracies best interest that one party or one interest should be served. They all have to be reasonable and quit the brooding and get on with the nations business. If any one party thinks their way is the best and only way we aren’t far from lossing our democratic (not referencing any party here) government role.

  • gman

    Take notice that one party is willing to compromise.

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