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SILVER LININGS: Reality Comes To Low-Information Voters

SILVER LININGS: Reality Comes To Low-Information Voters
January 04
10:27 2013

Today is payday for lots of Americans, and they’re NOT happy about the Social Security tax holiday ending.

And it’s delicious.

A post at the wacky Democratic Underground…

If you go on Twitter you’ll find lots of stuff like this. The clueless-cool set who voted overwhelmingly for Obama are now wondering how come he said taxes weren’t going to go up on 98 percent of the American people when here’s their first paycheck and taxes went up.

Call it Schadenfreude if you like. It’s a nasty habit. But considering that Obama managed to get himself re-elected despite a record more suited for the guillotine by playing Santa Claus, and considering that the media has rightly cast the fiscal cliff deal as a victory for the president and a loss for the Republicans, there’s a valuable silver lining here.

You can’t blame this on the GOP. Obama owns this.

Now, as a matter of policy rather than politics the two percent increase in Social Security withholding today isn’t exactly a tax hike. In fact, folks are paying today what they should have been paying for the last two years; the gimmicky payroll tax holiday was a raid on Social Security’s solvency at a time the program absolutely couldn’t afford it and putting that money back into the system was an urgent necessity.

Particularly given that the economic stimulus the tax holiday was supposed to generate was nonexistent. Which gives the lie to the Democrat idea that tax cuts on middle-class people will goose the economy – people who actually understand economics recognize that true growth comes from savings and investment, which can fuel innovation and technology and the resultant increases in productivity that provide a better standard of living for everybody, but when Nancy Pelosi can claim unemployment benefits create jobs and isn’t laughed out of Congress it’s clear that lessons in reality are sorely needed.

So we’ve now had one of those lessons, and it’s not just an economic lesson – the Social Security tax holiday offered negligible benefits – but a political one as well.

Obama didn’t run on cutting Social Security taxes last year, and he didn’t fight to make those cuts permanent this year. Meaning he didn’t see any political benefit in doing so.

Except today he’s getting the political downside to the shrinkage in take-home pay.

Sure, the media will spin this as John Boehner trying to cut taxes for rich people and screwing Joe Six Pack. But nobody’s going to buy that. Not when they’ve got to stay home and dine on Mac & Cheese rather than get a burger at Applebee’s this weekend and every other weekend for the foreseeable future; this is Obama’s fault.

And that’s actually good. It’s good medicine for people who didn’t think there were personal consequences to voting for Obama without a clue what they were voting for. Maybe some of these drones will develop a little empathy for people whose taxes went up a hell of a lot more than two percent this week.

UPDATE: Hey, thanks for the Instalanche, Professor Reynolds!

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29 Comments

  1. Paul Havemann
    Paul Havemann January 04, 20:58

    If you check the original DU post at http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022125273#post1, there's a li'l note:

    "This message was self-deleted by its author (NCTraveler) on Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:36 PM. When the original post in a discussion thread is self-deleted, the entire discussion thread is automatically locked so new replies cannot be posted."

  2. Richard Vail
    Richard Vail January 05, 12:56

    Unfortunately, low information voters just aren't that perceptive. The media will continue, successfully to spin this as the GOP's fault. Until very wealthy Republicans put their money where their mouth AND their politics are, and begin to buy up failing media outlets and magazines, and countre the prevailing liberal media bias, the GOP is fighting a losing battle.

    Because we allow the liberally biased media to frame the conversation on any topic, the GOP will lose, and continue losing for the forseable future. The same goes for academia.

    If the GOP controlled House of Rep's really want's to reframe the conversation, they should undertake in the 1st 100 days, a series of legislative steps and pass them to the Senate…where they will die…and the propaganda war of the 2014 election cycle can begin.

    1. Pass a comprehensive tax reform bill that eliminates ALL loop holes. Especially those that allow the deduction of state, country and municipal taxes. That alone would devastate blue states and cities, since their very high taxes are deductable from federal income tax.
    2. Eliminate any and ALL subsidies. If you can't make your business work you should fail, the Fed shouldn't be picking winners and losers. After all, every single business that Obama has picked as being a model has failed…most recently, a furniture make in NC closed it's doors.
    3. Eliminate the federal tax loop-holes/tax exemptions granted to Hollywood in the 1950's.
    4. Pass a balanced budget amendment and send it to the states…that concept alone, terrifies Liberals…

    If, the GOP in Congress were to do this, I suspect you'd see a very different outcome in 2014…with them Taking back the Senate, and being able to roll back much of the damaging policies of Obama.

  3. Brian Macker
    Brian Macker January 05, 13:50

    Raid on social security? When is ther not a raid on social security? This merely shifted the raid from spending increases to tax cuts. Ever extra dime of SS has always been raided. I'd rather see the money never collected than collected and frittered away on government spending.

    • BJ Monte
      BJ Monte January 05, 19:25

      Good point, govt spending begats federal workers, aka Dem voters, which begats more govt spending which elects more Dems…etc.

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous January 05, 13:53

    And as the plaintive wails of confusion and betrayal ring out among the usual website suspects of blue polity (shrines to voter ignorance if ever there were), the thinking conservative, libertarian or independent (even Republicans still deserving of the name) must be excused for mulling this philosophical question: is schadenfreude wrong when it is so clearly, overwhelmingly, richly deserved?

  5. Jim Temple
    Jim Temple January 05, 14:09

    The chances of the low information voters having an light bulb moment are pretty slim. In fact, these people are so ignorant, they probably believe the Republicans caused it by voting late, or some other stupid thing. Don't confuse them with the facts and you can bet Pravda and Izvestia will do nothing to change that perception, just as they did nothing to explain the huge downside to lowering Social Security Taxes and the hypocrisy of the Democrats, who were jumping up and down when Bush wanted to give tax payers some of their social security taxes to put into private accounts.

  6. Rich Knudsen
    Rich Knudsen January 05, 14:17

    Poor W2'ers, you thought life was going to get better but guess what, Your boss signs the check and because of this new scheme, his is getting smaller so yours will too. Trickle drown on that.

  7. Tom Schwieger
    Tom Schwieger January 05, 14:47

    The payroll tax holiday was a "tax cut" for the working peeps who don't normally pay any regular income tax (the 47%). It was quite a clever way to do some redistributing before the election. By the way, I had some homemade mac & cheese Friday that I much prefer to a burger at Applebees.

  8. Michael Kelley
    Michael Kelley January 05, 17:25

    Wait 'til they find out that Obamacare is not just a bunch of free stuff paid for by someone else. It is a requirement to buy insurance that will be enforced by the IRS. The promised subsidies may not even be available in many states.

  9. Michael Kelley
    Michael Kelley January 05, 17:25

    Wait 'til they find out that Obamacare is not just a bunch of free stuff paid for by someone else. It is a requirement to buy insurance that will be enforced by the IRS. The promised subsidies may not even be available in many states.

  10. Kathy Hutchins
    Kathy Hutchins January 05, 17:53

    "Which gives the lie to the Democrat idea that tax cuts on middle-class people will goose the economy – people who actually understand economics recognize that true growth comes from savings and investment".

    So in an odd, intended, very small way, the FICA tax holiday might have worked. When it was enacted I immediately diverted an extra 2% of my paycheck to my 401K, since I figured I wouldn't miss take home dollars I wasn't used to getting. I'm sure other people must have done the same. The question now, is, can I keep it up….since in addition to the end of the tax holiday my embattled employer has had to both reduce 401K matching and more than double our health insurance premiums. My first paycheck of 2013 took a much bigger hit that the pathetic low-info DUer we're all mocking, but at least I had a clue.

  11. Kathy Hutchins
    Kathy Hutchins January 05, 17:55

    "Which gives the lie to the Democrat idea that tax cuts on middle-class people will goose the economy – people who actually understand economics recognize that true growth comes from savings and investment".

    So in an odd, unintended, very small way, the FICA tax holiday might have worked. When it was enacted I immediately diverted an extra 2% of my paycheck to my 401K, since I figured I wouldn't miss take home dollars I wasn't used to getting. I'm sure other people must have done the same. The question now, is, can I keep it up….since in addition to the end of the tax holiday my embattled employer has had to both reduce 401K matching and more than double our health insurance premiums. My first paycheck of 2013 took a much bigger hit that the pathetic low-info DUer we're all mocking, but at least I had a clue.

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous January 05, 17:55

    Romney wasn't proposing to keep the payroll tax holiday either so its not like anybody had a choice in this particular matter.

  13. Tom Brosz
    Tom Brosz January 05, 18:07

    Congratulations, voter. Your payroll rates have just been returned to the level you've been paying since 1990. That hit on your wallet has been going on for a long time.

  14. Ron Robinson
    Ron Robinson January 05, 19:57

    I was under this mistaken impression that the tax fix was to increase revenues out of 'fairness' so we could 'help' those less fortunate. But NCTraveler reveals the real reason (probably very commonly held) was to hurt high earners. Class warfare at its very best. Wassamatter NCTraveler, you have a problem with helping folks who need help? If we just listen, they will tell us (even accidentally) their real agenda.

    • Ron Robinson
      Ron Robinson January 05, 20:19

      Actually, NCTraveler, you do know that the extra 2% missing from your paycheck is actually your social security savings, right? This is money that still belongs to you – it's in a 'lock box' that is the 'Social Security Trust Fund' account. The government cannot touch it and invests the $$ on your behalf. THis money will come back to you with growth after you retire. But if you die before that, the government (not your estate) gets to keep the $$. Nice arrangement, huh?

    • Carmen Fabella
      Carmen Fabella January 06, 01:55

      Ron Robinson
      Not true, Mr. Robinson. The Supreme Court found in 1960 that the Government owes you nothing. There is no contractual obligation on the part of the government; the laws and rules governing how much you get and when are entirely at their discretion. Think on that for a while.

    • Randy Sweeney
      Randy Sweeney January 06, 04:34

      Anyone who believes in the SS "lock box" is hopelessly lost. The SS gets government IOU's, part of the $84 TRILLION in off-the-books unfunded liabilities in EXCESS of the $16.5 TRILLION owed on the books.

      However, since the SS fund is paying out more than it is taking in this year, that 2% will stave off the need to print money for SS checks for another few years. But that time will come.

  15. Janey Doe
    Janey Doe January 05, 22:13

    Well done, my peasants…I mean "citizens". Now fetch some more Pina Coladas for your leader and his Queen…wearing all this fur in the warm weather of Hawaii is taxing me so.

  16. Joe DeAngelis
    Joe DeAngelis January 07, 22:30

    my father was gumby my mother was pokey and I'm just a regular mr potato head. where do I vote? Hope and Change.

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