Monday, January 9, 2012
The Ridiculousness of the Payroll Tax Cut
By Bruce Bialosky
To even write a column with this title risks being classified as someone out of touch with average Americans. Nevertheless, I’m confident in my conviction on this issue; and, furthermore, it is clear evidence – as if we needed any more – that this President will say or do whatever is necessary to stay in power.
You may remember that this “temporary” payroll-tax reduction was passed in a last-minute bill by the previous Democrat-controlled Congress. It was part of their economic program, which originated with the philosophy of John Maynard Keynes, advisor to our government during the Great Depression. His policies may have sounded good, but they simply did not work. Unfortunately, they are part of Democratic legend that it was FDR’s deficit spending and public-works programs that got us out of the Depression. But you can’t really blame them – after all, they were educated first in our pathetic public school systems and then in universities riddled with leftist professors.
There were several problems with this “temporary tax reduction.” First, it did nothing to stimulate new employment. The only reason for the recent modest reduction in the unemployment rate is because people have given up looking for jobs. Second, we have never before reduced the money paid into the Social Security System to provide a fiscal stimulus. As I have written previously, Democrats refuse to admit that Social Security is not a retirement plan. If Democrats actually believed that it is a retirement plan, they would never have done this.
Alternatively, they might have said “We’re going to let you pay less money in now, but you’re going to get less money when you retire.” Had they been honest – instead of telling Americans that they would magically get $80 more in every paycheck – the country would have roundly rejected this. But truthful and pandering politicians don’t inhabit the same planet. In the end, it gave working folks a small, year-long tax break, but did nothing for those seeking a job.
Flash forward a year: a tax holiday that was supposed to end has now became the focal point of the Democrats’ propaganda. Other than the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, the President has done nothing to justify his re-election so he tries to convince middle-income Americans that he’s their friend. They may be losing their jobs, losing their homes, and paying higher prices for everything. But in Obama’s twisted world, if you give them a fabricated tax reduction out of their own future retirement fund, they’ll be suckered into voting for him (again).
The President proposes this malarkey and his Democrat and media allies fall into line, telling us that they cannot tolerate “raising taxes on the middle class.” In fact, they actually tried to pay for this by raising taxes on other citizens. This leads to the question that no one seems to be asking: What happens a year from now? Are the Democrats going to pander again? Are they going to again mislead Americans about their pension plans? How are they going to pay for that extension? Don’t they get the idea that temporary tax changes – enacted for political purposes only – do nothing for long-term planning?
You now know the rest of the story. The Republicans stuff some things into the bill that will actually create jobs, like the Keystone XL pipeline. The President, in what I believe is his stupidest political move since being elected, vetoes the pipeline. He chooses support of the tree-hugger lobby over union members who need jobs. Sorry, Mr. President, the environmental wackos will vote for you, but the union members and their friends who are still looking for jobs will not.
For some mysterious reason, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, usually a brilliant strategist, agrees to a two-month extension of the payroll cut. That is just insane. Payroll is done quarterly. Only people who have never worked for a living would do such a thing. Even the payroll processing companies say this is nuts. The IRS should have concurred because they might have to create new forms with two different rates, but they don’t want to abuse their bosses. The Republicans in the House, most of whom have actually had jobs or employed people, point out the folly of the plan and pass a bill with a full-year extension – only to get hammered by the equally clueless mainstream media for not being “bipartisan.” The concept of “sensible” never comes into play. The House agrees to the two-month deal.
The punditry in Washington then tells the American people that the Republicans were routed; thereby giving the President the ability to claim that he is a friend of the middle-class. Has everyone lost their minds? How in the world is a two-month extension better than a year? How does a President, who has spent trillions on keeping his union friends employed while the rest of us suffer with fewer homes, fewer jobs, greater inflation and larger government debt, all of a sudden become a friend of the middle-class by handing us our own money and driving the nation into greater debt?
If you ever thought that our national government was totally screwed up and needed a makeover, here is your time. And if you ever had any doubt that this President will say anything, do anything, or embrace any policy whatsoever to promote his re-election, then you should be convinced by now. This man is nothing but a Harvard elitist who has never had and will never have a clue what we Americans face. I am once again reminded why so many people are so utterly disgusted with our political system.
To read another article by Bruce Bialosky, click here.
Posted by Brett at 11:43 AM