We are currently having a rather asinine federal tax rate debate – how to offset on the federal ledger the one year extension of the payroll tax diminishment.
Lost, sadly, is the discussion of whether or not we should be so doing.
This is in fact not a “tax cut” at all – not in the income tax sense of the word. It is a reduction in the payments made to the Social Security program (SSI).
A reduction which – definitively – does nothing to create jobs or “stimulate” the economy.
Because no one in the private sector makes any permanent decision based upon temporary government policy.
If they can’t afford to permanently hire you, a temporary tax cut doesn’t make it any more feasible. A part of why our egregious unemployment problem has persisted under the current, temporarily lower payroll tax rates.
This lack of policy permanence – which has been rampant throughout the Olympic-ly overactive Obama Administration – is a large contributor to the uncertainty that has plagued us and our economy lo these last nearly three years.
Meanwhile, the per person Social Security payment reduction is tiny – about $20 a week.
Keynesian dreams aside, government spending doesn’t “stimulate” the economy. 2009’s $787 billion – plus inordinate interest – didn’t. Twenty bucks a week per employee certainly won’t.
Yet in the aggregate the one-year Social Security heist-extension adds about $185 billion to the federal debt – a not insignificant sum.
As is always the case with government programs – minuscule individual benefit, gi-normous accumulated cost.
And speaking of permanent, President Barack Obama and his Democrats want to pay for this one-year temporary SSI holiday with a permanent tax on one million-plus earners.
You know, the top 1% – who earn 19% of the income but pay 37% of the income taxes. So they clearly deserve another, bigger hit.
(In actuality, if the “rich” are to pay their “fair share,” they’re due for a hay-yuge tax cut.)
And it will take ten years of this permanent tax increase to pay for the one-year temporary SSI payment reduction.
How’s all that math working for you? Here’s some more.
The federal budget has skyrocketed – by 34% – in just the last five years.
This titanic increase, and all we’ve thusly seen, leads to but one inexorable conclusion: Our federal problem is not one of revenue, but of spending.
So here’s a thought: Stop spending – and start cutting. Rather than looking to bleed us for more money.
And as already noted: Unlike income taxes, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payroll payments are supposed to go to a specific, delineated program – Social Security. Which is already broke – and hurtling towards tens of trillions of dollars worth of insolvency.
Well, they’re supposed to go to SSI. And they did – for a while. Until President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) – Democrat – started stealing the Social Security trust fund to incept and “pay for” his inordinately lame and now broke Great Society.
Since the LBJ Great FICA Robbery, we’ve been writing IOUs – from us to us. Which I would think makes them IOIs.
President Obama and his Democrats are now simply looking to further ramp up their IOI penmanship – and/or pummel even more brutally the already overtaxed.
This is yet another temporary policy allegedly trying to engender permanent recovery.
Allegedly – because this is small-bore, small ball stuff. Devised not to enact true reform, but crass political advantage and punishment.
From a President who is trying to fundamentally transform America – when what we need to do is fundamentally transform Washington.
We must totally revamp the way the federal government does – well, everything.
All of which and more are colossally wasteful – and counter-productive and indeed destructive to their intended missions. They need to be not “reformed” – for that never actually happens in D.C. – but privatized/eliminated.
To paraphrase Jesse Jackson – end them, don’t mend them.
Apply the Yellow Pages rule – if you can find it in the Yellow Pages, the federal government shouldn’t be doing it.
And then there’s the tax code. Which is a special interest carve-out, 3.4 million word nightmare. It needs to be dramatically streamlined and simplified – and the rates flattened and reduced.
It is in this mind-numbing flurry of words, laws and regulations that the power to over-tax – and thusly over-govern by economic concussion – lies.
President Obama and his Democrats are fundamentally unserious about these true, necessary structural reforms. They in fact stand in opposition to them.
They choose instead to pick inconsequential fights over temporary non-solutions.
To distract, glean political advantage, buy pre-election time – and kick the can further down the road.
Pseudo-Leadership: Thy name is Obama, thy Party Democrat.