Esme’s Blog: The Expiring Payroll Tax Break

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In just more than three weeks, your paycheck will be two percent smaller. That is the amount you will lose if Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut.

Congress  so far has been paralyzed, unable to agree on a way to keep the  cut in place. Many Republicans are opposed on principal. Allowing the year old tax cut to expire would help the deficit to the tune of $120 billion.

But it would also mean less money in people’s pockets for all of 2012. On Wall Street, as well as in key economic indicators, there are signs of a slow but significant recovery.

It’s a cliche, but on main street, the recovery has not hit home. Republicans are feeling the political pressure from constituents and have come up with a plan to extend the tax break without raising taxes on millionaires. The Republican plan calls for cuts to social services and the fast tracking of an oil pipeline project that the President opposes.

When Congress gets back to work this week they will have until Christmas to come up with a compromise on this and other critical issues, including the extension of long term unemployment benefits. With 11 months left until the 2012 elections, those on main streets across the country will be watching closely.

More from Esme Murphy
  • Joe Hanson

    If you don’t have a job, a payroll tax cut means nothing to you.

    • Swamp Fox

      Right On! What makes the situation even more worse is the cutting more off the expenditures for social services that are helping the jobless. Even job referral services would be down-funded. Joe, it’s amazing that the richest Americans aren’t paying their fair share of income taxes. Even Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have said this along with a few others.

      When is Congress going to stop being so stupid and insincere to the American people that those in power must do their fair share in getting this country back on the the tracks to economic and prosperity? Unfortunately gridlock and keeping their jobs is more important than this country’s recovery.

      President Obama can’t do this alone with everyone being so angry with each other. Neither can the GOP/T-Baggers who can’t even decide on what type of toilet paper[domestic or imported] to use in the Capitol restrooms. The same holds for MN’s state government and Legislature which mirrors Washington’s gridlock.

      Joe, if things, on all fronts, don’t improve the conditions are right for another recessive downturn that will probably dump us into a Depression. Do you agree?

      • Gregg

        @Swamp Fox; “Obama can’t do this alone…” He’s been doing a big share of it so far. If he hasn’t been responsible for it than he’s done nothing to prevent it. Maybe he just doesn’t know how to, or actually believes his policies of wasting trillions is good for all of us.

        • Swamp Fox

          How can he prevent the impending economic disaster still to come if he doesn’t get bi-partisan support from the Congress? He can only do so much within his Constitutional powers. He needs Congress but the GOP/T-Baggers don’t want to help. They are worried about their jobs and not the country’s predicament. Besides the GOP/T-Baggers accomplishments thus far are slice-&-dice the national budget tactics and showing their inane ignorances to how to help the country out of this present economic mess.

          • Gregg

            The problem is he didn’t need bi-partisan support the first two years. He got all the fail policies he wanted – and now we are living with it. 15 trillion is the proof and Solyndra, Fast and Furious and many other failed programs proves this administration is the cause not the victims.

      • Gregg

        “Even Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have said…” These guys are smart enough to know that if they really believe that, they could make a check out to the IRS for more than what their highly paid tax attorneys tell them to pay. When asked they all say “Well I give far more than that amount to Charity” which only confirms their belief that Government is not a good place to solve social problems. They want higher taxes on the wealthy and tax breaks for themselves and none for their competition.

        • Swamp Fox

          You make some some cogent points but have you ever heard them speak about their views or read their writings on such? I have and I believe they are insincere with their views and convictions. When both point out that they pay less per dollar for taxes today than when they were struggling to get started, it makes you think.

          “The more you make the less[in taxes] you pay.”–Buffet/Gates 2009 (UofNB).

          I want to ask you, if you are making those high bucks per year shouldn’t you pay your share of taxes for such? Think about it!

          • Gregg

            You might consider that their income is nearly all capital gains – not earned income. It would not be a good idea to tax capital gains – it is money that was originally taxed at the income tax rate (higher for higher income tax earners) and then put into to investments at the risk of loosing it all but growing America and creating jobs. They are not advocating increasing capital gains taxes – Buffet want higher wage earners to pay even more because it wouldn’t affect him. Envy is not becoming, besides the bottom 50% of wage earners pay Zero income taxes and guess how much the upper 10% pays of the total taxes collected (look it up on the IRS website).

        • Exp

          So what if they do make a check out to the IRS? When they do their taxes, they’ll just get it back because the government doesn’t let people overpay and at the same time lie on their taxes. i.e. If they lie about your income to justify a bigger tax bill so they can send in more money, then they can go to jail. If you just send in more, there will be a discrepancy between what the government has received for your SS # and the amount you claim you sent on in your taxes and are liable to get audited at the very least. So this just send in money argument really is a farce.

          • Gregg

            Wrong, anyone can write a check to the government anytime they want to. Go ahead it you think it’s a good investment for everyone else.

          • JamesMinnetonka

            You can make a donation to the US Treasury to pay down the public debt – regardless of your tax liability. It’s in the IRS tax guide(s). So yes – any of these rich liberal hypocrites who say “tax me more” can preach by example not works. They won’t though :-)

  • dlm

    Are you kidding me? If Congress agrees on anything before Christmas, that would be a miracle.

  • kevin

    Let it expire. Congress don’t know how to fix social security and this tax rebate being prolonged will only help distroy social secuity much faster. Just pay your bills, don’t spend money you don’t have and stop spending any money on illegals.

  • Gregg

    Social Security is already in Jeopardy, why make it worse? I remember the Democrats’ ads wheeling grandma off a cliff. When a progressive proposes jeopardizing Social Security everything is OK. Maybe this is Obama’s way to eliminate SS once and for all.

    • Swamp Fox

      What’s in that tea you are drinking today? Are your comments for real?

      • Gregg

        Absolutely for real. How much of other peoples’ money do you want?

      • Gregg

        You do remember the Ads right after Ryan proposed a plan for a balanced budget – you know the one that had Wheelchaired bound Grandma dumped off a cliff? Now of course they want to defund Social Security and let the Republicans introduce something fiscally responsible so they can run ads like that again. So why is the truth not your cup of tea?

  • stubby

    Typical Esma, only porvides the liberal side of the story. These tax cuts were from social security, which by the way, is well on it’s way of going broke. The pipeline she breezed over would create 20,000 jobs to begin with and about 70,000 in 5 years.

    • Dale Gribble

      The payroll tax is a red-herring. Those people don’t need the money, anyway. Job creators are jeopardized by the CommuBama tax plan. Unless we support the people who create jobs and make this country great, we will have a Socialist States Of America under President Caliph For Life Barak Hussein Osama!!! Dump the payroll tax extension! Protect America and American Job Creators!!! God Bless America and Support Our Troops!!!

  • Steve

    Republicans are feeling the political pressure from constituents and have come up with a plan to extend the tax break without raising taxes on millionaires. The Republican plan calls for cuts to social services ….They won’t tax the rich but will bury the poor…here you have it folk’s…see it with your own eyes..The right is in service to the rich, and constantly throws the poor under the bus…nuff said!!!

    • Gregg

      Is there one government program that is not insolvent right now? Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are in need of serious reform – Fanny and Freddie are still adding to the Real Estate problems. This administration has proven no one should be paying more taxes, because they waste trillions on programs like Solydra, and Fast and Furious. Name one big contributor to the Obama campaign that isn’t fed Hugh sums of money from the taxpayers. Then of course there’s his supporters that simply have billions disappear as in the case of MF Global. We can now trace some of that in the hands of another supporter – George Soros. There aren’t too many clean hands in the white house right now. Taking more money from Social Security will only make the problems worse. So why tax the rich MORE, we need to address the spending problem.

  • ipmutt

    This payroll tax cost is a big Democrat and liberal scam. Most of these people will not pay any more tax because they do not pay federal taxes as it is. They may not get it back until they file but that is good. A little savings. Don’t get sucked into this deceptive mainstream media anti republican scam.

    • Exp

      @ipmutt: I think you might need to see a doctor if your comments are any indication, because I think you fell and hit your head. You do realize that those people don’t pay taxes because they’re TOO POOR to, right? What you see is a bunch of people who you need to demonize to draw attention away from the real argument, which is why the rich aren’t paying their fair share. That’s called a strawman argument and is poor argumentative technique, which only makes you look bad.
      I have nothing against this pipeline, but cutting social services in order to satisfy politicians’ rich cronies is detestable.
      I find it hilarious that most of those that vehemently defend the Republicans’ actions are the ones most often hurt by those actions, yet they seem to not notice that fact for all the excuses and rhetoric and deception floating around…

      • Gregg

        So why is that 50% of our population is now too poor to pay taxes? Too poor yet too fat according to our First Lady. Could it be that we encourage people not to work or does the lower 50% not pay enough?

        • yippee free money

          @Gregg. The trick is to have a child and work part time. You qualify for the EITC and get about $3000-$4000 back on your tax return.

  • Dora Fitzgerald

    We need the pipeline to go through because it will create many, many jobs. This economy needs jobs and it won’t happen until federal restrictions on creating jobs are lifted. Obama shouldn’t go on vacation either until all is settled. Stop blaming the republicans for this economy; three years in and Obama should take responsibility for the economy now. Bias, bias, bias, Esme.

    • Exp

      Do you honestly believe that the problems that the Republicans created during seventy percent of the last 28 years in office would magically be corrected in three? If you do, I have some oceanfront property in Iowa to sell you. I consider myself independent and I don’t believe he can fix these problems in so short a time. It took Clinton almost his entire time in office to fix things left by Reagan and Bush Sr., which were quickly reversed as soon as Bush Jr. came to office.

      • stubby

        EXP, you better do a little research. Your buddy clinton only balanced the budget because the Republicans had contro of both houses. Jimmy Carter was to blame soley fro the mess in the late 70’s and Reagan got us out of it. Both Bush’s spent way too much, I’ll give you that. But ‘ol Jimmy Carter is doing the hat dance because now he will be considered the 2nd worst president behind obama

      • Gregg

        You’re no Independent, it’s obvious you’re a full fledge Democrat/liberal/progressive. If you really believe President Reagan caused more problems than Clinton you probably do have property in Iowa – but that’s not the Ocean. Clinton gave us the policy that everyone deserves to own a home – even if they can’t afford it. Now you won’t believe that so please don’t take my word for it – look it up.

  • Bob Kappers Sr

    nothing is stopping you liberals from chipping in extra. ESMA stick with news you understand

  • Rasputin

    Who ever says the rich are not paying their “fair share” are not equipped with the facts.

    They are not only paying their share, they are paying the share of the 50 percent of people who pay NO taxes.

  • Wart

    The Federal Reserve is a Criminal Cartel that serves the political elites of both parties. End the income tax all together and you cut corruption in half.

  • Worry

    The Federal Reserve is a Criminal Cartel that serves the political elites of both parties. End the income tax all together and you cut corruption in half..

  • Fact

    The top tax rate of 35% only applies to taxable income above $379,000 per year.
    Only 470,000 Americans out of 310 million have gross income above $400,000.
    There are only 78,000 Americans that have gross income above $1 million per year.
    There are 108 million Americans who have gross income below $45,000 per year.
    The average income tax rate for all Americans is 9.3%, down from 9.9%.
    The average income tax for the 400 richest people with average income of $345 million was 17%, down from 26%.
    45% of all households in the U.S. pay no income tax.
    There are $1.1 trillion of deductions, exemptions and credits annually.

  • Rasputin

    This was NOT an income tax cut.

    It was a cut in the funding of Social Security.

    Now the Democrats are irresponsibly using it as a ‘got chya!’ to attack Republicans.

    The Democrats the worst people to be running anything.

  • StraycatStrut

    Payroll tax should be extended, and the budget cut elsewhere to compensate. Limpless Class Warfare Cheif and Justice Obama cannot do this alone… like many other topics he just cannot do period. But vacations and golf fill his time taking the way of other idea-less democrats before him. Our Tax Code should be changed… and GE should be taxed…but wait …. they the funded Obama campaign. Esme…. could you please report on why GE pays no income taxes and why others should be tax instead on liberal ‘CCO?

  • richard

    Tax cut for the middle class would help…it would facilitate the “trickle up” effect.

    • Swamp Fox

      @richard & Straycat?
      Funny! “Trickle up!” economic theory sounds funny! I like that. Too bad it doesn’t work. Yes, the Tax Code should be revamped and revised but don’t mix rabid politics with the revisions. Also, WCCO is just reporting the basic news. Straycat you sound like you are shooting the messenger again.

      • StraycatStrut

        @Swamp Fox
        Not shooting the messenger…. just trying to prompt newsmedia action on issues like not Taxing $15,000,000,000 in profit on GE…. or other issues like wasting $530,000,000 on Solyndra…. or the inept Holder on the “Fast & Furious” being either stupid or limp on his answere. Instead we hear about Bachmanns campaign or something she says or misquoted as a big news story.

        Politicians in the Political arena has much to do with changing tax code. Not all the time… Judicial System takes some part….. but this subject on Esme Blog is directly related to taxes. Read above.

  • Блондинка

    А как стать журналистом чтоб постить свои посты а лучше видео с ютуба

  • amats


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