Payroll Tax Increase May Hurt Consumer Spending

By: Tuesday January 22, 2013 5:45 pm

One part of the “fiscal cliff” deal that received little attention was the expiration of the middle class payroll tax cut. The tax increase occurred immediately and hit workers right in the paycheck.

While the lower classes may not drive the economy, their spending does have influence.


ABC’s Jake Tapper Misrepresents the Payroll Tax Cut Deal

By: Sunday February 19, 2012 11:50 am

A few days ago, PBS New Hour’s Judy Woodruff was interviewing Nancy Pelosi defending the pending payroll tax cut deal, and she wondered if Pelosi was concerned about the resulting loss to the Social Security Trust Fund. Huh?

The impression she gave was that a 2 percent reduction in the payroll tax would mean that funds available for Social Security would be reduced by that amount. Pelosi either missed the point or chose not to correct her. Someone will set her straight, I thought, and no one else will be confused about this.

But on ABC’s This Week, today, Jake Tapper made the same mistake, twice, though ABC’s writeup obscures this.

Post-Super Bowl Roundup from February 5, 2012

By: Monday February 6, 2012 6:15 am

News roundup from Super Bowl weekend. Madonna! World Peace! — oh wait, Syria, Egypt, Congress, taxes, jobs, labor, Columbian murders, housing, Mitt and Koch’s millions, and much more.

The Party Line – June 10, 2011 Hope Floats

By: Friday June 10, 2011 11:29 am

The Obama administration has a problem. As much Republican good will or corporate campaign cash as they expect to gain from their reinforcing of the deficit hysteria meme (which, let’s face it, will not be very much at all), even the most cynical of the president’s economic team realizes that all this budget cutting isn’t going to do squat for the current economy. Without something directly stimulative, the recovery likely stalls. Without some sort of jobs program, the unemployment picture continues to look grim. There is no “car” to worry about putting in reverse—it has been spinning its wheels for some time now, and, as most Americans see it, it never did drive out of that ditch.

Yes, with 2012 shaping up to be another “it’s the economy, stupid” election year, O & Co. has a problem—but with the same deficit hawks and scorched-earth partisans controlling Congress, what is a president obsessed with bipartisan-like process to do?

A Winning Progressive Strategy for Social Security: Refuse to Do Anything – Ever

By: Monday March 28, 2011 9:36 am

Looking at the current political environment and gaming out the possible actions that could be taken it seems abundantly clear that progressives best course of action on Social Security is to simply refuse to even think about allowing any changes in the program. Progressives should also follow Harry Reid’s advice by sticking to this “just say no” position for decades to come.

The President Adams Payroll Tax: Nothing Like an Individual Mandate

By: Saturday January 22, 2011 12:00 pm

The incredible degree to which many “liberal” writers have gone all-out to defend the previously conservative idea of an individual mandate requiring people to give a private corporation their money is bizarre. That latest attempt seems to be a dishonest interpretation of a 1798 law that created a payroll tax to pay for federal socialized medicine.

George Will: A Mind Is a Terrible Thing…

By: Thursday December 23, 2010 2:19 pm

The conservative mind is a wondrous thing to behold, especially when it’s the Washington Post’s best mind, George Will.

Domenici, Rivlin Offer Another Deficit Commission Report (When We Need a Growth Commission Report)

By: Wednesday November 17, 2010 11:45 am

We definitely needed another greybeard panel to tell us all to sacrifice to “get our fiscal house in order.” And that’s what we got today, with the Domenici-Rivlin Bipartisan Policy Center report on debt reduction. Pete Domenici is the former Republican Senator from New Mexico who at the end liked to walk around Congress in his pajamas; Alice Rivlin is the deficit scold Democrat who’s a member of the Catfood Commission, providing a report that is basically similar to the Bowles-Simpson report.

Former SEIU Boss Stern Proposes Partial Investment of Social Security Trust Fund in Stock Market

By: Thursday July 1, 2010 9:00 am

The market has been extremely volatile of late. An investment 10 years ago would have yielded almost no gains, and would have absorbed a giant loss in 2008. Too much of the stock market these days is ruled not by efficient capital flows, but high-frequency trading and other forms of gambling, none of which will be ameliorated by the financial reform bill. Putting 10-15% of the trust fund into that casino could result in lower returns or even losses from the safe investments in which it’s currently exposed.

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