February 2012

By the time you read this, the game of chicken over the payroll tax cut extension between the White House and the two parties in Congress will be over.

Are we getting sick of this, yet? Everything, absolutely everything that this Congress and this administration attempt to “resolve” deteriorates into a childish fight. For me, it’s like watching my two young daughters argue, then cry, over a stuffed animal or toy, neither able to see that the simplest resolution is to share it.

Plain and simple: now is not the time to raise taxes on the middle and lower classes. Reasonable people can debate whether raising taxes on the wealthy benefits the economy and the country, but it is very obvious with an unemployment rate at 8.1 percent; still high (and inexplicably so) gas prices; high food prices (have you seen the price of just a bag of potato chips?); rising healthcare costs; and few, if any, cost-of-living pay increases for those who are employed, most of us cannot afford to lose yet more money, even if it is just two percent.

Political party affiliation should have nothing to do with this — nothing. The democrats are traditionally seen as wanting to help the middle and lower classes, while the republicans are generally known as wanting low taxes and small government. OK, so what’s the problem here? It would seem that a payroll tax cut extension for people making less than $106,000 a year is a no brainer.

Alright, I’m not that clever; in fact, I feel like I’m about average, but maybe we can look at it this way: if we’re worried about how to pay for these tax cuts, didn’t we just end operations in Iraq? And didn’t we hear over the past 10 years how expensive it was each day to pay for the war? Well, it’s over now. Can’t we take the savings here and pay for these tax cuts? I mean, it might be a nice holiday gift for us and especially the returning veterans and a great way to start a new year.

Please have a happy, healthy and safe 2012.

P


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