THE PAYROLL TAX STUFF

25 12 2011

Authored by William Robert Barber

This most recent controversy regarding the Obama two month continuance of the payroll tax cut is the perfect example of congress’ inability to prudently address issues of national importance. The supposed reason for adapting this initial one year decrease on the payroll tax was to stimulate job growth. The idea is or was that (for those that work) these persons would take home more money. The conclusion being, that if these persons take home more money they would spend more and thus stimulate the economy. Such a cash infusion would be discretionarily imputed directly into the   economy; resulting, as the reasoning follows, in an increase in consumer spending, which would eventually, force merchants to hire more people.  Well, it did not happen.

Whatever those that work did with the extra cash it was not to go out and purchase goods and services. There is some evidence that these working stiffs bought down existing debt instead of incurring more. A logical, I-now-know-better response to any effort that did not work is (in the first cause) not repeat the effort; well, not so it seems in the world of congressional politics.

It is far more important for the Democrats to position the Republicans (irrationally) as the party that favors millionaires, a party that is fundamentally unfair and will not give the average Joe a break.

It is far more important for liberal political strategist to point out that the extreme wing (Tea Partiers and the far-right) of the Republican Party will not compromise. That they are ideologues instead of fair mined; that their ideology is valued above the best interest of the nation.

Pundits of political persuasion, news-reporting-media, their opinion-makers, those that craft poll questions, Senators Reid and Schumer, and “the great campaigner” President Obama, have framed this issue as an economically sensible approach to the country’s current economic malaise. Really! The nation is burdened with a 15 trillion dollar debt and the good idea is to discount the specific tax revenue designed to fund social security? Hmm…interesting! If payroll tax abatement is a viable economic tonic, a tactic warranted by wonks and clever economist, if this is really a good idea, why then does President Obama, Reid, Schumer disbelieve that significantly discounting individual and corporate tax is a great idea? Why are they against broadening the tax base and actually have all the people who earn an income, regardless, of how much they earn, pay a share of the monies used to enable the benefits they partake of?  

The answer to the preceding question is simple: vote purchasing. They have promised and will continue to promise, all those many millions of voters that earn less than $45,000 per year with deductions, “no worries, your taxes will not go up, I and my Democratic friends will tax the rich. They will pay your share of the tax burden. Just remember to vote Democratic across the board.”

From a political gamesmanship prospective the Republicans foolishly managed this entire issue of payroll tax holiday. One reason was they thought that this particular issue was about fiscal governess they had no idea it was solely a political gesture designed to erode the ethos of Republicanism and favor the tax & spend Democrats. The Speaker of the House naively granted the Democrats and Obama a winning hand; of course, in two months this very issue comes up again. So the dealer will deal more cards and give each player another opportunity to make their bets.

Regretfully, the recent payroll tax melodrama as expressed by the political wheeler-dealers of the Democratic Party, the media’s reporters, and the pundits’ explanation of what’s happening is the result not really of the relevant particulars, but, with a blatant lack of strong, believable, vision persuasive, charismatically enhanced, forthwith style of political leadership. America is engrossed in the process and has abandoned leadership for ambivalent minimalism. Its senior management consults more than leads and is more by practice referenced as sophistic than stoic. Perception and attitude run together…we as a nation will never be any more than we believe ourselves to be. So if political gamesmanship is our preference rather than addressing the pressing issues of fiscal solvency…it is impossible to achieve sound prudent governess. 

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