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Congress prepares for payroll tax battle
Chicago Tribune ^ | Nov. 24, 2011 | Lisa Mascaro

Posted on 11/25/2011 10:33:12 AM PST by WilliamIII

The congressional "super committee" officially admitted failure, but even as it did so, Congress plunged toward a new budget battle that carried an immediate punch: A year-end fight could bring a tax increase of nearly $1,000 to the average American worker.

The current payroll tax holiday for workers expires Dec. 31, and unemployment benefits run out for some 2 million Americans shortly after that. Economists warn that a tax increase on Jan. 1 combined with an end to the jobless benefits could cut the economy's already weak growth almost in half.

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: payrolltax
I'm really disappointed that so many self-described conservatives are in favor of letting payroll taxes rise. Their argument -- we need to let the payroll tax cut end to pay for Social Security -- is the same as Pelosi's: we need to let the Bush tax cuts end to pay for government programs. Amazing. Instead of arguing for cutting spending, both sides argue for raising taxes -- only different taxes.

All my federal taxes are too high -- including payroll taxes, as well as all the taxes that the Democrats love.

1 posted on 11/25/2011 10:33:16 AM PST by WilliamIII
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To: WilliamIII

Your SS pension is based on how much you put in.So it just doesn’t pay the government. It pays you; so don’t cheer a tax holiday to last too long. Before I applied for SS I got a statement of what I put in back in HS summer jobs in the 50s.


2 posted on 11/25/2011 10:48:54 AM PST by larryjohnson (USAF(Ret))
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To: WilliamIII
we need to let the payroll tax cut end to pay for Social Security

Obama cut it for just this reason; so people would fight about it rising again.

Where's social security supposed to get paid from? Payroll taxes were supposed to be dedicated toward tha purpose, unlike taxes for the rich which largely steal from job creation.

3 posted on 11/25/2011 10:58:05 AM PST by Siena Dreaming
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To: larryjohnson

Let me invest and save my money the way I want to. I don’t need the federal government to tax me — take away my money — to supposedly provide for my retirement (in a ponzi scheme arrangement that doesn’t actually save and invest a dime).


4 posted on 11/25/2011 11:02:14 AM PST by WilliamIII
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To: Siena Dreaming

I am opposed to continuation of the reduced payroll tax rates unless benefits are reduced. I favor elimination of the tax for individuals willing to forego benefits.

The rats want to reduce payroll taxes as a vote buying scheme. The rats have no intention about reducing benefits especially to their constituency. They are trying to reduce taxes on the freeloaders, the almost 50 percent who pay no federal income taxes. The Democrats are trying to define a new norm for benefits. Democrats will propose tax increases on upper income individuals to fund the reduced payroll taxes on the tax freeloaders.

As long Social Security provides benefits, payroll taxes should be collected. Social Security has a cash flow deficit of $150 billion. Its costs are exploding and tax revenues declining.


5 posted on 11/25/2011 11:04:33 AM PST by businessprofessor
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To: Siena Dreaming

You’re making the Pelosi argument: “Where are we supposed to get the money to pay the debt, if we don’t let the Bush tax cuts expire?” Only you’re making her argument, with reference to Social Security taxes.

Social Security taxes have been used to pay for general government programs, for many years now. It’s another form of income tax -— and here we have “conservatives” wanting to raise the tax, simply because Obama is on the other side of the debate. Crazy.


6 posted on 11/25/2011 11:04:54 AM PST by WilliamIII
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To: businessprofessor

“As long as Social Security provides benefits, payroll taxes should be collected.”

Well, as long as we have to pay interest on the national debt, the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire, to cover the cost. That’s what the Democrats say. It’s the same argument. And you’re both wrong.


7 posted on 11/25/2011 11:07:03 AM PST by WilliamIII
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To: businessprofessor; Siena Dreaming; larryjohnson

If it’s so great to have the federal government reach into my pay check -— supposedly to provide for my retirement, but really to pay today’s retirees (in a ponzi scheme) and to go toward general government expenditures (through “borrowing” from the Social Security “trust” fund -— then why isn’t it just as defensible to tax my paycheck for Obamacare, to provide for my health needs? Same principle — federal government knows best.

Sorry, I want to keep as much of the money I earned, as possible — so I can save and invest it for myself and my family. It’s incredible to me that “conservatives” are calling for the federal government to take more money from people’s paychecks, because the federal government can supposedly “provide for their retirement.” People, it’s a ponzi scheme and rip-off tax!


8 posted on 11/25/2011 11:19:06 AM PST by WilliamIII
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To: businessprofessor
The rats want to reduce payroll taxes as a vote buying scheme.

Exactly. Payroll taxes are used as their number one argument about how the "poor" pay more than "their fair share" because they pay payroll taxes at the same rate as their middle-class brethren. Doesn't matter that they don't pay income taxes, the Democrats want to make sure they no longer have to pay payroll taxes too by saddling US with their burden in addition to our own.

9 posted on 11/25/2011 11:20:14 AM PST by VeniVidiVici ("Si, se gimme!")
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To: WilliamIII

The arguments are not the same. The Democrats do not want to allow the Bush tax law to expire. They only want to increase rates on a small part of the population. They have the same goal with payroll taxes. They want to reduce taxes on the freeloaders and increase taxes on the most productive.

I strongly favor reductions in payroll taxes along with reductions in benefits. Even at age 56, I will gladly forego all benefits for elimination Social Security taxes. Republicans should demand major reforms to Social Security including the rate of payroll taxes. The only reform that Democrats want is more taxes from the most productive. Democrats have long talked about eliminating the cap on earnings subject to taxation. Once the cap is lifted, Democrats will call for higher payroll tax rates on earnings above the extended cap.

I want everyone to feel the pain of taxation. The demand for government services is partly driven by freeloaders without tax liabilities demanding more government services.


10 posted on 11/25/2011 11:22:37 AM PST by businessprofessor
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To: WilliamIII

As I understand it everyone’s SS benefits will be calculated at retirement as if they had paid the full 6.2% contribution. The lost funds in the SS trust fund are being replaced by the treasury. All smoke and mirrors accounting I know but the only reason they cut the payroll tax is because it was deemed a more effective way to get a tax reduction to the “right” people, people who work, unlike previous tax cuts which went to working and nonworking alike. As an added bonus, government workers with their fat pensions don’t get any benefit.


11 posted on 11/25/2011 11:23:17 AM PST by blue state conservative
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To: VeniVidiVici

It’s not just the poor who pay payroll taxes. Everybody who’s employed pays them. And they’re a rip-off. Can’t believe so many freepers want them raised.

Just like there was Bush Derangement Syndrome, there’s also Obama Derangement, I’m coming to realize. It’s when you hate Obama so much that you’re willing to pay more to the federal tax man, because Obama is on the other side of the debate. Sorry, I dislike Obama, but I still want to keep more of the money that I earned with my hard work. The Social Security scam isn’t any less of a ponzi scheme, no matter what position Obama is taking on the payroll tax.

In fact, I consider it a victory that he’s been maneuvered into actually opposing a tax increase. But in the end, my family’s financial needs are more important to me than some political debate.


12 posted on 11/25/2011 11:26:14 AM PST by WilliamIII
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To: WilliamIII

Of course SS is a Ponzi scheme and ripoff. I favor elimination of payroll taxes for individuals willing to forego benefits. If you want benefits, then you need to pay taxes. Democrats obviously have no intention to make SS voluntary. They want to reduce taxes on the freeloaders and then increasse taxes on the most productive. Do not fall for the Democrat trap. Democrats want to permanently establish a progressive taxation scheme for payroll taxes.


13 posted on 11/25/2011 11:26:43 AM PST by businessprofessor
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To: businessprofessor

You want everyone to feel tax pain? How generous of you. I feel plenty already, thank you — and if you get your way with the payroll tax rising, I’ll feel more.

Everybody who is employed will feel more pain, if your “tax em till it hurts” philosophy wins out.

I’m not poor, either. But I sure hope you don’t get your way. The federal government has enough of my money. They don’t need any more, to satisfy some people’s desire to inflict tax pain on other people.


14 posted on 11/25/2011 11:32:01 AM PST by WilliamIII
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To: WilliamIII

I’ve perused the comments and once again, the right is as divided amongst themselves as they are with the left.

I was thinking before reading this group of comments that I wish, for just once, that the Congress would prepare to do the right thing that is best for ALL Americans and not what is best for party, or ideological line or self-service.

This reduction in payroll tax is artificial, I think it should be allowed to lapse for many reasons but nihilism is not one of them.

No, it does no good to enumerate the reasons and I haven’t the time nor the inclination today or any other day. My give-a-damn is just about completely busted.


15 posted on 11/25/2011 12:07:27 PM PST by Sequoyah101 (Half the people are below average.)
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To: WilliamIII

The tax freeloaders need to pay. Unless you are a tax freeloader, I am not advocating increases in your taxes. I do not advocate any tax rate increases for the freeloaders. I advocate the elimination of tax welfare (refundable tax credits) that eliminate tax liability.

For SS, I also advocate payroll tax reductions. If you receive benefits, then you pay taxes. If you renounce benefits, then you should not pay taxes.

Taxation is necessary to pay for common services. I want the common services kept to a minimum. To pay for the common services, I want everyone to pay at the same rate except for perhaps a small exemption for the truly poor. Exempting half of the population for federal income taxes puts a much larger burden on the producers as well as increasing demand from the free loaders for government services.


16 posted on 11/25/2011 12:14:46 PM PST by businessprofessor
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To: businessprofessor

I agree with your ideal vision of how the tax system should be structured. But we’re dealing right now with what IS not with what SHOULD BE. The fact that spending is out of control (and SS benefits aren’t voluntary) is not a reason to raise taxes. It’s a reason to cut spending (and make SS voluntary). I’m not going to agree to higher taxes just because the politicians refuse to make spending cuts and SS reforms. In fact, agreeing to higher taxes (including payroll taxes) only lessens the pressure for spending and SS reforms.

But more to the point, for me, higher taxes — including payroll taxes — rob me and my family of money out my paycheck. Money that we could be investing for retirement, health needs, etc, instead of relying on bankrupt gov’t programs.


17 posted on 11/25/2011 12:32:34 PM PST by WilliamIII
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To: Sequoyah101

What’s “artificial” about a lower payroll tax? Even if it means that the full cost of current social security payouts isn’t covered — and I’m not sure it means that, but assume for the moment it does — it’s no more “artificial” than the so-called Bush tax cuts, if they meant that the full cost of government programs isn’t covered.

You seem to be arguing that we have to impose taxes that are high enough to cover the full costs of government programs — and that any taxes less than that amoung are “artificially” low.

I, on the other hand, believe that taxes should be low to begin with, and that if government programs are more costly than the tax revenues, it’s those programs that are “artificially” too high in cost. And that goes for Social Security as well.

Low taxes are always to be preferred to high taxes. That’s my philosophy as a conservative — and I don’t discard that philosophy when it comes to payroll taxes, no matter what side of the debate Obama is on. My philosophy isn’t dictated by scoring points again Obama, it’s based on a consistent, honest belief in low taxes and limited government.


18 posted on 11/25/2011 12:42:48 PM PST by WilliamIII
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To: WilliamIII

Anything that is done — or not done — in Washington that results in an escalation of payroll tax rates from their current levels will be an absolute disaster. Why anyone would want to increase an employer’s cost of employing people when the nation’s real unemployment rate is somewhere north of 15% is beyond me.


19 posted on 11/25/2011 1:27:51 PM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: WilliamIII

So how low should taxes be?

Sometimes I think let’s just get it over with. Let’s cut taxes to zero, live high on the hog for a few years then default on our debt and start over.


20 posted on 11/25/2011 3:40:10 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: Siena Dreaming

I figured that Obama’s idea was to let people get used to paying less so that, as you say, they would scream if it goes back up and this is intended to ultimately eliminate at least the employee part of the SS and Med tax. This would pave the way to make SS means tested. If people are not having any tax deducted that is earmarked for SS then they lose the argument against means testing.


21 posted on 11/26/2011 1:14:47 PM PST by RipSawyer (This does not end well!)
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