Since a failure to approve the can-kicking tax holiday will result in an average and immediate $40 deduction from the "typical" ($50,000/year) paycheck, the Obama people are asking "folks" just how they would spend those two missing twenties. Actually, it is former campaign director turned G.E. millionaire lobbyist turned White House adviser David Plouffe who did the asking. The thing that ticks me off is how they are glossing over the fact that you have to be solidly middle class in the first place in order to "lose" the much-touted $1000 a year.
Thousands of folks have dutifully responded thus far, and the White House has published a few of the stories on its website. Unfortunately, the stories they have chosen to share are from people who probably don't even come close to earning the $50,000 a year it takes to qualify to lose $40 the first pay period. The stories they have chosen to publish are from people who sound like they could easily qualify for food stamps, Medicaid, and home heating assistance. (They also sound like people who can stretch a dollar to magical proportions: a week of groceries for only $40?) People on the brink of poverty are being fooled into believing Tax Holiday Grinch Theater applies to them. A few examples the Obama people are using to make their political points:
After everything that comes out, including my mortgage my take home pay is $150.00 every two weeks. So minus forty would be $110.00. I can barely get by now, that forty bucks is my gas for my car to get to work. Taking forty away from my pay would, just about put me under.
A single mother of two, with no financial support from my children's father, 40 dollars means lunch money for my children at school. It means a tank of gas, and it means covering my weekly visit copays to the doctor.
That is almost 1 weeks of groceries for me or how much it costs to fill my gas tank for 1 1/2 weeks or medical copay at the specialist office. Which one am I to go without? This is going to hurt. Please don't let this happen.
Meanwhile, in what was meant to be a feel-good holiday photo-op, President Obama preemptively blew his own $40 on toys for Bo the Dog in PetSmart yesterday. What a man of the common people.
Also lost in the gimmickry is the fact that the payroll tax holiday would only be for one more year, and that we will go through this whole fake rigmarole again next Christmas, when the economy will still suck. Does anybody really believe we can make this thing temporary, and that the so-called holiday is not an underhanded plan to turn Social Security into a means-tested welfare program? The Beltway bubbleheads are already fond of calling it an entitlement, rather than an insurance, program -- and pretty soon they will get their wish. Bernie Sanders voted against this "holiday" in the Senate for just that reason. You don't get what you don't pay for. Garbage in, garbage out.
Conventional wisdom, however, is that one more year of tax holiday will do nothing to affect the solvency of the trust fund. And the Bush tax cuts were supposed to pay for themselves too, and they were supposed to expire, and the moon is made of green cheese.