Payroll Tax Cuts a Strange Brew

September 12, 2011

Is it just me, or do you think there’s something strange about lowering the taxes paid into a theoretical fund that is actually going broke? Why are the president and his Democrat allies so enraptured with this plan, which in fact puts a few more dollars in current citizens’ pockets at the expense of future Social Security recipients?

On the surface, this move on Obama’s part seems to fly in the face of the Democrat playbook, in which there is almost never a tax they don’t love, and that love is normally shown by increasing them. Especially in the case of Social Security, given the bad to terrible actuarial reports on its (lack of) solvency going forward, the Dems seemingly have a tailor-made situation to be pushing for increases not decreases. Not only that, it seems like in their never-ending quest for that elusive “fairness” that they value above all else, that they would be the first in line to demand that all wages and salaries would be subject to the “FICA” tax, not just the first $100,000 or so. After all, doesn’t it make sense that a cornerstone of getting the “rich” to “pay their fair share” would be to tax all of their obscenely high salaries, not just a portion of them, as a way to get Social Security out of its massive hole? No doubt this would produce a lot more “revenue” than a thousand years of removing tax breaks for corporate jets that Obama constantly rails about.

I guess we can only surmise that the president’s move to keep this reduction going, and even enhance it and offer some of it to employers as well as employees, is populism at its finest. Nothing like putting some extra dollars in the voters’ pockets before a critical election, with the idea that the economy, jobs, etc. will warm up just enough to get him re-elected. Then, he can lower the boom and show his true colors.

So, as patriotic middle-class Americans, perhaps we should follow the lead of the super-wealthy Warren Buffett, who thinks he should be taxed a lot more than he is (although at this date there’s been no report of a Buffett supplemental check to the U.S. Treasury). Maybe instead of accepting the modest addition to our disposable income, perhaps enough to buy a couple of tanks of gas per month for most of us, we should just send it back. And then tell the president that if he wants to do something really neat to help people get jobs, that he cut the capital gains tax rate for starters, chop up a lot of business-impeding regulations, and then get out of the way and allow the market to do its magic.

Copyright ©2011 Phil Perkins