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    Payroll Tax Increase: Political Gamesmanship

    12/07/2011

    Democracy and Power 108:  Obfuscation

    Wherever politics intrudes upon economic life, political success is readily attained by saying what people like to hear rather than what is demonstrably true. Instead of safeguarding truth and honesty, the state then tends to become a major source of insincerity and mendacity. – Hans F. Sennholz

    Payroll Tax Increase:  Political Gamesmanship
    Advantageous political gamesmanship prevails over serious governance. 

    America has dangerous debt caused by politicians – Republicans and Democrats.  Social Security is an unfunded liability and a major contributor to America’s fiscal crisis.  How is DC confronting the crisis?  Political gamesmanship as usual.

    Presently, Democrats have a winning political tactic and are skewering Republicans over a payroll tax increase of $1,500 for typical working families.  Always ready to gain a political advantage, James Kvaal, Policy Director of BarackObama.com, released an email claiming the cuts will help 160 million people and would be paid for by taxing millionaires and billionaires.   

     In case you missed it -- yesterday Congress voted on a bill that gave them two simple choices:

    A) Let President Obama's payroll tax cut expire, raising a typical family's taxes by more than $1,000 next year, or

    B) Extend and expand the tax cut, helping 160 million people and letting that same family keep $1,500. 
    Click here to find out what it does for you.

    The payroll tax cut would be paid for by requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay a little more. But some in Congress think millionaires and billionaires should get to keep paying the already-low rate they get, thanks to the Bush tax cuts.

    Politico labeled similar tactics as a “political gimmick”  when commenting on Senator Conrad's (D-N.D.) acknowledgment for a need to find a serious means to pay for the reduced revenue, Politico reported

    Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said the new Democratic plan will be “paid for in a serious way” — an admission that the Democrats’ surtax on millionaires was little more than a political gimmick.”

    How should serious politicians govern? 

    First, admit the “payroll tax” is really the Social Security tax.  Second, admit that Social Security’s unfunded liabilities are enormous.  Third, realize the “serious proposal” being offered will not substantially reduce the debt caused by Social Security.  Lastly, realize a complete restructure of the Social Security and Medicare system must occur.

    Because political avoidance and gamesmanship will always prevail, the only real solution is establishing personal accounts for Social Security and Medicare.  When Americans own and control their accounts, politicians will be prevented from diverting other people’s money for their political gamesmanship and aggrandizement. 

    5 comments
    davidhroncich's picture
    david hroncich
    12/13/2011

    every year Social security sends a prospects... its disturbing to se my potentual bennafet discribed as pennnies on the dallor.. and currently many people can retire early collect benifits.. while reiceving a penntion that covers more than there living requirements...more disturbing . A woman bosted to me an d a mutal friend. how here 13year son milualy retarded, attening pubic school, was colllecting $1200 a month i SSI disabilty,, no speacle day care was required. she made an upper 5 figurer income!! Her X made agood figure income..the system needs to been reset .. and changes made too it so only truely disabled&those whose pentions dont cover living exspensess can collect and finnally no bennefits to early retireies

    Jon Stanford
    12/07/2011

    I have been paying a significant portion of my pay into Social Security since 1972, as well as saving some for retirement on my own. I was forced to pay into Social Security all those years because the govt. said, "You're not reliable enough to take care of your own retirement. We'll make sure it's there when you need it." So, instead of having that money in my retirement account along with the part that is under my control, it was spent by Congress. The stealing is bad enough. Saying that those who want to collect on social security are a burden on the system is adding insult to injury. Just what other investor wouldn't figure out how to benefit by using other peoples money for free? Oh, I forgot! "We're the government, and we're here to help you..." -- in a pig's eye! They not only stole the interest, they stole the principle. Morons.

    teda's picture
    Ted Abram
    12/11/2011

    Thom,

    You are correct. Only concerned and active citizens will stop big centralized government. We the citizens will only prevail when we convince our fellow Americas - one at a time - the importance of small and limited government. Supporting The Tea Party Budget and soliciting friends to join in support is an excellent vehicle to build a citizen assault on DC.

    Thom Cook
    12/11/2011

    The main problem with our society is that the majority of the electorate are mindless drones who do not know or care enough about who is leading this country or what they are doing to our future. We need more people to get involved in the process and find out what is at stake for all of us. Our future looks very bleak if we keep going down the same road we are on at the present time. We need much more self responsibility in this nation. Our future depends on it.

    teda's picture
    Ted Abram
    12/08/2011

    As professor Stennholz said many years ago, "Instead of safeguarding truth and honesty, the state then tends to become a major source of insincerity and mendacity."

    Only personal accounts for Social Security and Medicare will stop politicians from their immoral taking and redistrubting the money earned by working Americans.