Tuesday, December 4, 2012

President Obama: Every [Other] Dollar is Important

    In view of the president's continued yet veiled intentions to allow the payroll tax holiday to expire at the end of 2012, the latest blog post at BarackObama.com is especially audacious.  The looming expiration of this same tax cut last year brought about the What $40 Means campaign from the White House, wringing stories of the destitution and desperation the loss of $40 per paycheck ($1,000/year for the average middle class taxpayer) would bring.  But this year, the Bush tax cuts have taken center stage, and the president appears ready to allow payroll taxes to increase back to the original level while the audience's attention is focused elsewhere.  Even so, it takes a special kind of nerve to frame the middle class tax issue as the president's team has here:
Middle class taxes: “Every dollar is important”Supporters across the country are joining President Obama in urging Congress to keep taxes low for middle-class families. Here's what $2,000 a year would mean to just a few of the folks who have shared their stories.
    Apparently "every dollar" doesn't include those extra payroll tax dollars that will hit every wage earner effective January 1st.  So, let's revise some of the examples the president has elicited from citizens so far at the White House website on what $2,000 means (revisions in italics):
Stephen, Florida - It could be the difference in sustaining our small family business from one month to the next.  Of course, with the payroll tax holiday expiring, that will make our survival that much more difficult.Sheri, Arizona - $2,000 is the January mortgage payment, February mortgage payment, March car payment.  But since my payroll taxes will be going up $1,000, I guess I'll be late on the February mortgage payment.  Hmmm... but what about the car payment...@swellgalmary on Twitter - #My2K goes to prescriptions, mortgage, and other necessities. It's not discretionary income for me. I need it to keep on keeping on.  But if the president thinks I can do without half of that $2,000, maybe I can just take my meds every other day.
    Although I am making light of the situation, for some of these people January's first paycheck is going to bring a nasty shock.

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