On the eve of the Congressional runoff in the Fourth Congressional District, Q. Byrum Hurst is trying for a Hail Mary pass to get some traction for his campaign which looks like it is in for a likely defeat Tuesday.
Appearing on a short 25 minute mini-debate on KARK, Hurst proposed a tax increase on the wealthy that would result in trillions in new taxes. The provision Hurst proposed is to eliminate the income cap currently set on Social Security taxes imposed on wages as a way to prop up the program which is facing large deficits.
“One of the things we can do right off the bat when I get to Congress is to lift the cap that is on Social Security payments. This is a cap that means people once they make $110,600 a year, they don’t pay Social Security taxes. That’s got to be lifted; that’s got to be changed,” said Hurst. “There are some other things we can do, but that alone would make it solvent again.”
Currently, employees are taxed at a rate of 4.2% (temporarily reduced down from 6.2%) on their first $110,600 of wages. Employers are still taxed on this amount at a rate of 6.2%. A how to get your ex back
ssa.gov/OACT/solvency/provisions_tr2010/tables/table_run205.html”>recent study from the Social Security Administration estimates that making all earnings subject to the payroll tax would impose trillions in new taxes.
There were few other ideas discussed in the debate with candidates mainly sticking to standard talking points regarding creating jobs and representing Arkansas values if elected.
Frontrunner and likely Democratic nominee Gene Jeffress focused on presenting himself as an average Arkansan by working as a “yellow school bus driver” and his passion as a lifelong hunter and fisherman in the Fourth District.
Hurst contrasted himself with Jeffress pointing out that he has proven he can effectively raise money. Jeffress has not raised much money for his campaign, which would make him an ineffective nominee in Hurst's view.
Jeffress responded to the criticism saying that his grassroots campaign – putting over 50,000 miles on his car – was effective during the May primary and he believes it will prove effective during the runoff and in November.
You can view some post-debate comments in this video.
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Jason Tolbert is the moderator for his opinion blog, The Tolbert Report. He can be reached by e-mail at Jason@TolbertReport.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TolbertReport.