POLITICS

Mitt Romney's Payroll Tax Cut Position Takes Another Turn

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's position on payroll tax cuts took another turn on Monday.

The New York Times reports that Romney came out in favor of a one-year extension, lending support to a policy that has been a President Obama staple.

"I would like to see the payroll tax cut extended just because I know that working families are really feeling the pinch right now," he said on a conservative radio talk show.

The former Massachusetts governor's ideas on this issue have lacked consistency at times. Back in October, he dismissed the notion of an extension as a "temporary little Band-Aid", saying that he wanted to "fundamentally restructure America's foundation economically."

In November, Romney's stance started to waver. When asked during a GOP debate if he would extend the payroll tax cuts, he had a more positive lean, telling viewers "I want to keep our taxes down. I don't want to raise any taxes anywhere. I'm not looking to raise taxes. What I'm looking to do is to cut spending."

Monday marked a new segment in the payroll tax talks, as Democrats offered a second plan for an extension. This version included a smaller tax on the wealthy to help pay for the middle-class tax cut.

On the other side of partisan lines, a prominent GOP face gave some clues as to what it might take for the payroll tax break to go through. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, hinted on Monday toward an extension of wealthy tax breaks to offset the middle-class initiative. Kyl pointed to last year's scenario when Democrats extended the Bush-era and estate tax cuts to ensure that the payroll tax cuts went through.

"As I said a year ago, I was willing to support the extension of it because we extended the other tax rates as well," Kyl said. "[If] we do that again, obviously it's something that I would be supportive of."

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