"It's unfortunate that people are unemployed," he continued. "This is one of the reasons that i have proposed a bold plan to get this economy going which you know is 9-9-9. People need to go — want to go back to work. That's the good news. But this economy's not producing the jobs in order to get 14 million people that are unemployed back to work."
An accumulation of shaky comments on foreign policy, coupled with allegations of sexual harassment have slowed Cain's ascent in the race, where he now ranks third behind Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in most national polls.
And his appearance on CNN Sunday won't turn the tide. Acknowledging that with the demise of the supercommittee last week, any plans for a big compromise bargain on deficit relief won't happen until after next year's election, Crowley told Cain that the payroll tax and extending unemployment benefits were the only issues that Congress is probably going to weigh in on anytime soon. But Cain refused to deal with that reality, saying, "Taking a position on unemployment benefits or leaving that 2 percentage point reduction in payroll taxes, that's not working on the right problem."
Eliminating the payroll tax holiday could cost the average family of $1,000 in new taxes. Since the raising of any taxes is considered blasphemous these days, you would think this would be an issue that Democrats and Republicans can agree on, right?
Uh, no, not really.
At least that's what Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl said on Fox News Sunday., which led to Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin expressing something close to shock, shock.
KYL: The problem here is that the payroll tax doesn't go into general revenue, it supports Social Security. And you can't keep extending the payroll tax holiday and have a secure Social Security. That's the first problem.
The second problem is that by taxing the people who provide the jobs, you put off the day we have economic recovery and job creation in this country. And that's precisely what the Democratic plan would do. It would hit those people, the small businesses who we all acknowledge are the ones who create the jobs coming out of economic difficulty.
And that we think would be a big mistake in —
WALLACE: If I may, Senator Kyl, just to cut this short, are you saying no deal on extending payroll tax cuts?
KYL: The payroll tax holiday has not stimulated job creation. We don't think that is a good way to do it. Before the end of the year, we will have discussions about what we're going to do on all these different programs.
WALLACE: Go ahead, briefly, Senator Durbin.
DURBIN: I can't believe that at a time when working families in this country are struggling paycheck to paycheck, when we need them to have the resources to buy thing in our economy, to create wealth and profitability and more jobs, that the Republican position is, they'll raise the payroll tax on working families? I think that just defies logic.
What we should do is to help these working families struggle through. President Obama has showed leadership on this. And now, the Republicans are walking away from lower and middle income families because they don't want to impose a small, small tax on the wealthiest people in America.
So there you have it: two leading Republicans say they don't want to extend unemployment benefits that allow up to 99 weeks of benefits for the longterm unemployed - nor are they up, apparently, for extending the payroll tax holiday that, as mentioned above, will give the average family an extra $1,000 in their pockets.
If Congressional Democrats can't make political hay out of that, they might as well give up.