Tax increases for the wealthy vs. deeper spending cuts… they’re two common suggestions to pay for things in Washington, including a payroll tax cut extension that has to get done by the end of the month.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) wants to charge millionaires a 2 percent surtax on everything they earn past $2 million a year, but Republicans want to cut more spending. Durbin says that’s impossible.

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“We’ve agreed on a budget,” Durbin said Friday in Springfield. “We’ve already cut $1 trillion out of our spending, and at this point many of the cuts they suggest would take money away from education and medical research.”

Durbin says Republicans also suggest allowing Keystone XL to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas in exchange for the payroll tax cut, but he says that’s shortsighted as such endeavors require more study and research.

Durbin estimates that, without the extension, an average Illinois family would pay around $140 more in federal taxes per month.

The parties are far apart, but Durbin says a deal will be reached. “When members of Congress face the prospect of telling working families across this country their taxes are going up Jan. 1, and spending Christmas with the president drinking egg nog, they’ll think twice about it,” Durbin says. “I think they’ll do the right thing.”

 (Illinois Radio Network)