PAYROLL TAX CUT CONFUSION.

Shouldn't the Republicans concede?

The payroll tax cut bill is still having a hard time in the chambers of the United States Congress; particularly, in the House of Representatives.

Its expiration will retard the progress of the economic recovery the country needs so badly to ensure that the years ahead will see more substantial growth, in terms of job creation, and also reduced unemployment.

The consensus to extend the legislation for another ten months is there among members of both parties, but what is stopping it is how to pay for it.

In President Barack Obama's budget yesterday, he had made it clear that low tax burden of the wealthy must be raised to cover any such cost. That is not unusual, for he has maintained all along that all people "playing by the same set of rules and paying their fair share in taxes," will solve the problem.

160 million working men and women will have a tax break for the rest of the year, if the bill is passed; and that will be a step in the right direction, as that will help the slow recovery and further grow the economy, now and in the future.

Speaker of the House John Boehner has his own plan, which does not have the appeal he speculates with the rank and file of his party, but they have to make concessions, which will be in line with President Obama's demand of boosting the tax level of the well-to-do.

After months of opposition that raising taxes on the "rich" will kill jobs, the Republicans are being forced to relent; which is nothing less than embarrassing.

The plan also goes against the grain of the rational that has brought "the tea party" into being, that the huge national deficit must be increased, instead of levying any surtax on the rich to make up for the cost of the program.

Thus, "adding $100 billion to the deficit by passing a 10-month extension of a Social Security payroll tax cut without paying for it." (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72821.html#ixzz1mM8uG3gb).

Meaning, the Republican lawmakers "can have their cake and eat it too." by not raising taxes, but the payment has to go on the nation's already bulging account. That piece of news is sending chills and feelings of discontent among the rank and file, as that will be a big step back by the party and setback for Republican policy.

However, the leadership has been cornered in an election year, and the jobs of party members and gaining the White House are paramount, than to take a firm stand on waiving taxes on the wealthy. Instead, the leaders are giving in so easily.

That will expose the Republican Party as protecting "some people from paying their fair share in taxes, and dumping the ramifications of the payroll tax cut extension on top of the deficit heap the nation is presently carrying.

In other words, the announcement is showing up in the form of a malaise among members of the Speaker's caucus; yet, the most important thing is that they are supposed to find a way out before the measure expires at the end of this month.

Hence, the new plan, which has taken many lawmakers seeking a compromise by sheer surprise. They are even asking the Speaker to "sweep the matter under the carpet," for the time being.

The funniest thing is that his (Speaker's) caucus is blaming the Democrats in the House with a statement that goes like this,

“Our goal is to reach a responsible agreement in conference. But in the face of the Democrats’ stonewalling and obstructionism, we are prepared to act to protect small businesses and our economy from the consequences of Washington Democrats political games."

(http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72821_)

The president has established a firm stance on the issue that tax revenue is not just the alternate avenue; it is the only way left to meet the cost of the payroll tax cut, in order to assure millions of workers that their taxes will not go up after February 29, 2012.

The court of the Speaker will be in turmoil as there is bound to be a backlash from "floor members" of his own party; but they must think very fast and act to commensurate with what the Democrats have on the table. They are in a hurry to reach an agreement "including one idea to eliminate certain tax preferences for corporations and individuals," they now confess. WHAT?

President Obama has been asking for that for months, with the Republicans refusing to budge. Though they know fully well that amounts to a waste of time on their (Republicans) part, which will not sit well with the voters in the forthcoming presidential election.

The fact remains that this Congress, with a Republican majority, has made it its duty to thwart the Obama administration with all kinds of obstacles, and it is a wounder that the government is able to move forward to put the country's economy back on track and bring down the high unemployment rate. The Obama administration has had a great deal to surmount.

Yet, will they (Republicans) stop there? No! They are on the attack to knock down the president's budget for next year, which is designed to create more jobs, make America energy independent and reduce the large deficit he has inherited, in order to have a substantial effect on the enormous National Debt that continues to haunt the nation.

Hoping, as it has been said before, voters should pay more attention from now on, to decide how and to whom they would cast their votes.

Comments 4 comments

American View profile image

American View 4 years ago from Plano, Texas

No confusion,,it should expire and then a 2% tax break on federal withholding can take its place. People just do not get the cost of the tax break. It goes far beyond just 600 dollars in your pocket, by the way the real number you save. This break is on SS which is already going broke. The government had to pay the money out of the budget to cover the shortfall in SS payments created by the break. Where did the money come from the government used? The loan from China. So now we have to pay the interest on the money loaned that is adding to the deficit. Ant that will cost the taxpayers more than the money saved. By changing to the Federal withholding, there is no cost associated or money to transfer to make payments on. That makes more sense.

Answer me this, how can one claim to reduce the deficit while the CBO scored the budget and said it will add 1.3 trillion dollars to the deficit?


Larry Wall 4 years ago

Tax cuts are tricky. Reducing the social security tax was a foolish move. Yes, it gave the employers more money, but as noted it created a gap that had to be paid from the general fund.

The first things we need to do is to restore the 2 percent cut on Social Security Taxes and then increase the ceiling at which Social Security Taxes are no longer collected. Now it is somewhere in the $115,000 range. Let's raise that to $250,000. It will help shore up Social Security and those making that kind of money can certainly afford the 6.5 percent tax.

Next we probably need to adjust the tax tables for individuals and those filing jointly, but only slightly. A small increase can generate a lot of money.

The medical deduction needs to be changed. Now you cannot claim any medical expenses unless it exceeds 7.5 percent of your income.

We use to have a luxury tax in this country. You paid it on extravagant items. Maybe we need to bring that back. If you buy a $200,000 car, you pay more in taxes. If you buy a $10,000 diamond ring, you pay an extra tax.

Of course the ultimate answer is to reduce spending. That is going to be harder than raising taxes because every congressman, House or Senate, believes that his project is the most important project and with the crazy rules under which the two chambers operate, it is hard to get a meaningful tax reform bill out of committee, much less enacted by both chambers.

If we allowed more oil and gas drilling, the government could collect more lease fees and royalties, which is the second largest source of income for the nation, right behind the personal income tax.

Finally, we should pay congressmen a per diem instead of a salary. That way they might work five days a week instead of three. If they are forced to spend more time together, they might learn to work together and come to some common ground.


American View profile image

American View 4 years ago from Plano, Texas

Larry,

I could not agree more. You have said many of the items I have written about in the past.


Larry Wall 4 years ago

I am fairly new to the Hub, so I hope I did not accidentally take anything from your previous writings. I don't think I did. I would chalk it up to great minds think alike or perhaps more accurate, people with common sense think alike. I am very pleased to be on the same page with you regarding this subject.

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