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KDKA Interview: Toomey Refuses to Consider Compromise to Protect Middle Class Tax Cuts

KDKA Interview: Toomey Refuses to Consider Compromise to Protect Middle Class Tax Cuts

Rigid in Defense of the Ultra-Wealthy, Toomey Dismisses Boehner’s Willingness to Work Across the Aisle for Compromise

MEDIA, Pa. — Once again, Congressman Toomey proved how far right of his own party he is when he refused to even consider allowing benefits for the ultra-wealthy to expire even if it jeopardized tax cuts for the middle class. When asked by KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh whether he might be willing to follow Minority Leader John Boehner’s lead and compromise on tax benefits for the wealthiest one percent of Americans if it would mean preserving tax cuts for the middle class, Congressman Toomey dismissed the idea.

“It’s clear that Congressman Toomey is in the extreme wing of his own party, but his recent unwillingness to compromise on an issue so important to our economy and Pennsylvania’s middle class shows just how out of touch he is,”  said Sestak spokesperson Jonathon Dworkin. “The wealthiest elites and Wall Street banks have enough friends in Congress. We need a problem solver like Joe who will put the needs of average Pennsylvanians first.”

On Monday, KDKA asked Congressman Toomey: “The question was asked of Speaker — not Speaker, Minority Leader Boehner, who wants to be the Speaker, on the talking head shows about a week ago or a week and a half ago about the tax cuts. He indicated that he would be willing to compromise if all he could get were middle-class tax cut extensions, he would be able to go along with that. Do you also go along with that viewpoint?”

Congressman Toomey replied: “…I’m opposed to that. I think that’s bad policy, and I think that if we make sure to force the vote in Congress, we can prevent that from happening because there is — I think there’s a majority in both houses in Congress that understand that we should make the current rates permanent and not have that tax increase, so I’m not interested in having that tax hike.”

Last week, Minority Leader John Boehner stated on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program that he was willing to support extending tax cuts for the middle class, even if it meant those for the ultra-rich would expire. Boehner said, “If the only option I have is to vote for some of those reductions, I’ll vote for it. If the only option I have is to vote for those at 250 and below, of course I’m going to do that. But I’m going to do everything I can to fight to make sure that we extend the current tax rates for all Americans.”

Monday’s interview with KDKA was just another example of Congressman Toomey’s staunch defense of benefits for Wall Street and the wealthiest few at the expense of average Pennsylvanians. Others include:

Eliminating corporate taxes. Congressman Toomey has argued on national television and in his own book about the need for zero corporate taxes. [CNBC, July 2007; The Road to Prosperity, p. 206 ] Congressman Toomey’s proposal would add more than $225 billion to the debt every year — over $9 billion annually from Pennsylvania alone. Wall Street may be tax-free, but the middle class is left holding the bill. 

Privatizing Social Security. Congressman Toomey supports privatizing Social Security, which would put the welfare of 20 million seniors in jeopardy, while creating a windfall for Wall Street. [Morning Call, 4/25/2003; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 8/11/2010; The Century Foundation on Social Security, 12/14/2004]

Abolishing the current tax code and instituting a Flat Tax. Under a Flat Tax like Toomey proposes, CEOs at bailed-out banks would pay nothing on their Wall Street earnings, while 95 percent of workers would see a tax hike of almost $3,000. [Citizens for Tax Justice, 2/19/2010]

Called Foreign subsidies “gifts to American consumers.” In his book, Congressman Toomey wrote that he believes that foreign subsidies to car manufacturers are a good thing, even though they “would result in fewer American cars sold, and consequently fewer American auto workers.”  [The Road to Prosperity, p. 112].

Joe Sestak was elected to Congress in 2006 after a distinguished 31-year career in the United States Navy, and he is honored to represent the Southeastern Pennsylvania district where he was born and raised. He is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania.  During his Navy career, Joe attained the rank of 3-star Admiral, served in the White House as Director for Defense Policy on President Clinton’s National Security Council, served in the Pentagon as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, and led a series of operational commands at sea, culminating in command of the USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier Battle Group (30 ships, 100 aircraft, and 15,000 sailors/marines/aviators/SEALs) during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In our nation’s time of crisis in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Navy turned to Joe Sestak to serve as the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy anti-terrorism unit formed in response to the attacks. Joe is the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to either branch of Congress. He graduated second in his class from the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Joe lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Alex, and proudly represents the 7th District, where his mother and many of his seven siblings still reside.


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