Rep. David B. McKinley said he won't support a proposed 2 percent payroll tax cut endorsed by "both Republicans and Democrats alike."
Addressing the Wheeling Rotary Club on Tuesday, McKinley, R-W.Va., said the tax deduction is part of the Obama administration's plan to help revive the economy.
But he urged more thought on the issue, noting it is typically agreed upon by most that Social Security reserve funds will be depleted by 2037.
Photo by Joselyn King
Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., addresses a meeting of the Wheeling Rotary Club on Tuesday at WesBanco Arena.
"So if that's true, why are we shorting the cash stream that funds Social Security?" he asked. "I'm not there with that. I've already told (House Speaker John Boehner) and (House Majority Leader Eric Cantor) that I'm not going to be supportive."
Supporters say it will increase jobs, McKinley continued.
But he pointed out the average household income in West Virginia is $37,000 a year, and 2 percent of that is less than $750.
He said giving $750 back to the taxpayer might have some small positive effect if the money were returned to taxpayers as a one-time check.
"But if you parcel that $750 out over 26 pay periods, you get about $25 apiece. ... I just don't see the business community going out and hiring more people at $25 every two weeks," McKinley said. "And knowing it is only for one year ... I want to remove the uncertainty and give long-term economic plans - not short-term ones. And that is what this is."
The current U.S. economy may not fit the definition of a recession, "but people all across America still feel we are in a recession," McKinley continued.
"We've got to deal with the entitlements," he said. "If we don't, by 2025 every dollar that comes in would be spent for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. We will have no money for anything else unless we do something. It's serious. We have to deal with it."
By 2016, China's economy will overtake that of the United States, according to McKinley.
"What we are doing is a 'Reaganesque' process - we're trying to restore the American dream, and do so by getting government out of the way," he said of the current Congress.
McKinley compared the presidencies of Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat Barack Obama.
He noted Reagan inherited pressing economic pressures at the beginnings of his term, just as Obama inherited a staggering federal debt that currently looms over America.
"Obama did not create this problem - Congress did," McKinley said. "He inherited the problem. He just made it worse."
McKinley acknowledged "Reagan did overspend" during his presidency, but he increased the federal budget to $1.2 trillion over an eight-year period.
"That pales in comparison to the $3.5 trillion (in spending) that has increased during the first three years of this administration," McKinley said.
He noted the most recent data sets U.S. debt at about $16 trillion.