In Case You Missed It: Philadelphia Inquirer: McGinty and Toomey pledge to help middle class — but who does that include?

“Katie McGinty has a long history of supporting middle class tax hikes, including placing new taxes on everything from diapers and daycare, to nursing home care and caskets. Her firm support of these tax increases last year led to the longest budget impasse in Pennsylvania’s history, costing our schools and social services tens of millions of dollars. It’s no surprise that she’s proposing even more middle class tax hikes one year later.” – PA GOP Deputy Communications Director Paul Engelkemier


McGinty and Toomey pledge to help middle class — but who does that include?
Philadelphia Inquirer
Jonathan Tamari
September 7, 2016—who-is-middle-class.html

WASHINGTON — If you’re running for public offices, chances are you’ve promised to help the middle class.

But who, exactly, fits into this much-discussed but vaguely defined category of American?

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Katie McGinty, who has built her U.S. Senate campaign around promises to help the middle class, gave a wide-ranging answer Wednesday that included lifestyle traits (being able to take a week’s vacation at the shore, save for retirement, send your kids to college) as well as an annual income range of $50,000 to $250,000.

Asked by reporters if that meant she would oppose any tax increases on people earning less than $250,000 a year, McGinty wasn’t firm.

“I’m talking about tax cuts – that’s where my focus is,” she said.

Asked then if she would rule out tax increases for anyone earning between $50,000 and $250,000, McGinty said, “I have been proposing tax cuts – that’s where my focus is. I think that working people in the middle class need a break, that’s what my whole campaign is about.”

Questioned a third time by reporters, she said, “I don’t have any interest in tax increases on middle class families.”

Toomey’s camp, meanwhile, says that while running for Senate McGinty has already backed at least two tax increases that would hit the middle class. She has endorsed a Democratic bill that would fund a 12 days of paid family leave with a 0.2 percent payroll tax…

And McGinty said in an interview last month that it “makes sense” to raise the cap on income taxed for Social Security to $250,000, up from the current limit of $118,500, in order to increase Social Security benefits and extend the program’s solvency.

McGinty’s spokesman has said the funding proposals in the bill and that she cited in the interview are just options.

A longtime fiscal hawk, Toomey has long favored lowering taxes across the board. In his own fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, the Republican called for cutting individual income taxes at every level and scaling back tax breaks, but protecting those used by lower- and middle-income families.

To read the entire piece by Jonathan Tamari, please click here.