How To Avoid Being A Principled Republican On TaxesRobert Reichupdated Dec 05, 2011TweetAt GET.com we maintain complete editorial integrity on our content & provide transparent & unbiased information. Companies don't pay us to include their products although we receive a compensation when you successfully apply to products from our partners. See how we make money here.At GET.com we maintain complete editorial integrity.Every time I try to make sense of Republican tax doctrine I get lost. For example, rank-and-file House Republicans are willing to increase taxes on the middle class starting in a few weeks in order to avoid a tax increase the very rich. Here are the details: The payroll tax will increase 2 percent starting January 1 – costing most working Americans about $1,000 next year – unless the employee part of the tax cut is extended for another year. Democrats want to pay for this with a temporary – not permanent – surtax on any earnings over $1 million, according to their most recent proposal. The surtax would be 3.25 percent. This means someone who earns $1,000,001 would pay 3 and a quarter cents extra next year. Someone earning one million and ten dollars would pay an additional three dollars and twenty-five cents. Relatively few Americans earn more than a million dollars, to begin with. An exquisitely tiny number earn so much that a 3.25 percent surtax on their earnings in excess of a million would amount to much. Most of these people are on Wall Street. It’s hard to find a small business “job creator” among them. Nonetheless, Republicans say no to the surtax. This puts Republicans in the awkward position of allowing taxes to increase on most Americans in order to avoid a small, temporary tax only on earnings in excess of a million dollars — mostly hitting a tiny group of financiers. Not even a resolute, doctrinaire follower of GOP president Grover Norquist has any basis for preferring millionaires over the rest of us. To say the least, this position is also difficult to explain to average Americans flattened by an economy that’s taken away their jobs, wages, and homes but continues to confer record profits to corporations and unprecedented pay to CEOs and Wall Street’s top executives. So Republican leaders are trying to get rank-and-file Republicans to go along with an extended payroll tax holiday — but by paying for it without raising taxes on the very rich. According to their latest proposal, they want to pay for it mainly by extending the pay freeze on federal workers for another four years — in effect, cutting federal employees’ pay even more deeply — and increasing Medicare premiums on wealthy beneficiaries over time. But even this proposal seems odd, given what Republicans say they believe about taxes. For years, Republicans have been telling us tax cuts pay for themselves by promoting growth. That was their argument in favor of the Bush tax cuts, remember? So if they believe what they say, why should they worry about paying for a one-year extension of the payroll tax holiday? Surely it will pay for itself.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.