MS. GOLDMAN: Governor Romney, I want to ask you, because President Obama's jobs bill was stalled in the Senate today, and so it may have to be broken into component parts for Congress to vote on. If the payroll tax cut is not extended, that would mean a tax increase for all Americans. What would be the consequences of that?
MR. ROMNEY: No one likes to see tax increases, but look, the -- the stimulus bills the president comes out with that are supposedly going to create jobs, we've now seen this played in the theater several times. [...] Look, when you give -- as the president's bill does, if you give a temporary change to the payroll tax and you say, we're going to extend this for a year or two, employers don't hire people for a year or two. They make an investment in a person that goes over a long period of time. And so if you want to get this economy going again, you have to have people who understand how employers think, what it takes to create jobs. And what it takes to create jobs is more than just a temporary shift in a tax stimulus. [...]
MS. GOLDMAN: So you would be OK with seeing the payroll tax cuts --
MR. ROMNEY: Look, I don't like -- (inaudible) -- little Band- Aids. I want to fundamentally restructure America's foundation economically.
Mitt Romney, last December, saying that while he supported a temporary payroll tax cut on the employee side, he opposed the overall tax deal because, in part, it did not include a temporary payroll tax cut on the employer side:
The deal has several key features. It reduces payroll taxes, extends unemployment benefits and keeps current tax rates intact. So far, so good. [...]
Part of the tax deal is a temporary reduction in payroll taxes. The president was insistent, however, that only the employee's payroll taxes be reduced — the portion paid by the employer is to remain the same. Again, the president is looking to get more money into the hands of the consumer to boost near-term spending. But by refusing to lower the cost of hiring a new employee, he fails to encourage what the American people want even more than lower taxes — more good jobs.
So last year, Romney said extending the payroll tax holiday to employers would create jobs. This year he says it won't. And last year he said he liked the payroll tax cut to employees, but this year he says it's a Band-aid. As a result, Romney now says he opposes the payroll tax provisions of the jobs bill ... because they deliver exactly what he said he wanted one year ago.
If you're getting confused by Romney's twisted-tongue, you're not alone. He may seem like a good debater, but that's only because he doesn't mean anything he says. The only question I have is whether any of his Republican opponents have the guts to point that out.