The surtax would impact around 345,000 taxpayers, roughly 0.2 percent of taxpayers, or one in 500 of them. Those people would pay on average an additional 2.1 percent of their overall income, or just over 1/50th of that overall income, in taxes.
In a majority of states, only one-tenth of one percent, or one in 1,000 taxpayers, would pay this surtax.
And how many people would benefit from the payroll tax cut? According to the group, around 113 million tax filing units — either single workers or families that include more than one worker — would see their payroll tax cut extended. That’s a lot of people — well over 113 million workers, in fact.
The payroll tax cut extension isn't without problems, primarily in the threat it poses to Social Security's political footing. That threat isn't to its financial footing, since the payroll tax cut is being offset by general fund contributions to the program, but that very offset strengthens arguments about how Social Security is bankrupting the treasury. Although it's not, and has never contributed to the deficit, making the self-funding mechanism for the program weaker is dangerous in the long run for the program.
The problem is, in this continuing crappy and unstable economy, the middle class needs this tax break and the economy needs this tax break. There's nothing else out there doing much to stimulate the economy since those "job creators" the Republicans are protecting have decided they're not particularly interested in creating jobs. And the millionaires' surtax is a smart way to do this. As Sargent says, "you’re still left with a clear cut case in which either one group (1/500th of taxpayers, all of whom are wealthy) or the other (more than 113 million workers) ends up paying more than they do now."
Republicans have put themselves in the position of supporting a tax hike on the middle class in order to keep protecting the 1 percent. Will Grover Norquist be calling them out on that?