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Higher taxes drag down the economy; where has this story been?

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A ton of Americans didn’t see the payroll tax increase coming. Others simply didn’t want to believe it when they heard or read about it, upon the rare occasion that the media would report on it. It had to just be right-wing talking points.

But when it hit their paychecks in January, they became believers.

“An increase in Social Security taxes is leaving Americans with less take-home pay – and a more negative outlook for the U.S. economy,” the Associated Press reported this week.

“The Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index dropped 8.1 points in January from December to a reading of 58.6, the lowest since November
2011. ...

“Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said the tax increase was the key reason confidence tumbled in January, making Americans less optimistic about the next six months.

“For a worker earning $50,000 a year, take-home pay will shrink this year by about $1,000.”

This shouldn’t have been any surprise.

For one thing, the national media could’ve done a better job warning people (as this page did). But perhaps they didn’t want to rain on President Obama’s fiscal cliff victory – although, didn’t he promise no tax increases on anyone making less than $200,000?

For another thing, the media have constantly attacked anyone preaching fiscal prudence in government. Think Tea Party. What the media should have been doing during the tax-and-spend debate of the past year is to stress to readers and viewers that the more money you take out of earners’ hands, the less money they have to spend.

That sounds simple enough. But if we’ve got that so down pat, why was the January tax increase implemented and why was it able to sneak up on so many people?

The reason that happened is also simple: The national media took Mr. Obama’s implicit message – that tax increases on the wealthy will improve the economy – and they ran with it. They let him snooker people into somehow believing that feeding the federal government behemoth is in some magical way going to improve things in the society at large. How does that work?

Instead, we’ve had another abject lesson in basic economics: If you want less of something, tax it. In this case, taxing workers means they are able to spend less, creating a drag on an already fragile economy.

A report out Wednesday indicated the economy actually shrank 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. Again, that has now been followed by higher taxes on workers in January, which has led to a plunge in consumer confidence and, no doubt, spending.

“The surprise contraction,” says another AP article, “could raise fears about the economy’s ability to handle tax increases that took effect in January and looming spending cuts.”

Smooth move, Washington!

The payroll tax increase is supposed to go to your Social Security retirement fund. Theoretically, that’s a good thing. But in reality, there is no retirement fund: Washington has been looting Social Security for decades to pay for ongoing government spending (which your boss would be put in prison for if he or she tried that at work). So, it’s not really an investment in your future; it’s just another dollar for Washington.

And at a time when workers need every cent they can keep.

This just in: Higher taxes slow the economy.


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allhans 02/01/13 - 08:12 pm
All this time I thought the

All this time I thought the president had to sign off on ALL I find..according to some of these comments..that when Republicans pass a bill Obama has no part in it. And I guess the Democrat controlled Senate doesn't have to approve it it seems we are to believe that the payroll tax deduction is to be blamed on Republicans, they started it, they ended it, and the Dems never touched it...MY, MY!

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 02/01/13 - 08:45 pm
@dahreese... "it is the

@dahreese... "it is the Democratic senate leading support for women."

I think Angela has it covered rather well...other than I would like to add that the liberal "support" of women has most often been toxic support.

dahreese 02/01/13 - 09:10 pm
@Humble Angela

" that really the best you have? Attack people you don't know by divining where they get their news, and claiming you didn't say things that you did say?"

Pulleeezzzzzeee....bear me your sanctimony of being called a "name" and of being "attacked."

Nowhere have I called you a name.

If I did, the Augusta Chronicle police would be on my case in a minute.

"Why isn't the same violence against men covered? What's wrong with violence against people."

I can't, won't, don't argue with that.

However, of late there has been in the news a lot about the abuse, especially rape, of women around the world and in the US military and how much al of that has been ignored and covered up.

Better a law to protect women than no law at all.

But, some conservatives (ahem!) can't seem to agree with that.

Oh, one other thing; sometimes I am cut off by the AC because my alloted "free time" has expired.

It's never that I'm running away.

And, just exactly where? DO you get your news?

carcraft 02/01/13 - 09:31 pm
Dahreese I am a conservative

Dahreese I am a conservative and I get a surprising amount of need from BIRTISH sources. Example was the attacks on western interests in Libya before the attack on the US embassy. It was clear the area was not stable and some stupid movie and demonstration were not they cause! Now we have the head of the EPA creating a fictitious e mail account to hide data! Yes those open government liberals just can't seem to walk the walk!

dahreese 02/01/13 - 09:54 pm

You'll not find me supporting wrong doing, although from time to time we might disagree on what exactly the wrong doing is.

But, let's not be too hard just on wrong doing liberals.

"I have posted a number of warnings (but not in this paper) about warrantless snooping by our "government."

That snooping began under GWB and has been extended by Obama.

However, those warnings are drowned out by those who are more concerned about their taxes, medicare, public housing and Wall Street protestors (and football) than they are about the invasion of their private lives by our "government."

Bizkit 02/01/13 - 10:16 pm
There is a difference between

There is a difference between liberal and progressive-as I've said ad nauseum. I'm pretty socially liberal (abortion, gay marriage, etc. although I morally and ethically disagree with some I tolerate em to enjoy my own freedom-part of the bargain with Caesar havin' his due-I know I dance with the devil but so do we all), but more fiscally conservative. I have voted both parties (more Dem younger and more Rep older) and now seem to be heading libertarian-because they are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Now Dems are goin' to convince the ignorant masses there really is no spending problem and rather than the predicted 4 trillion increase in debt the Obama's White house office site originally predicted it will jump to 8 trillion or perhaps even higher-because he will have carte blanche with no media and a GOP that is dead to shine a light. I will keep on shinin' however-and I'm no fool.

KSL 02/01/13 - 11:45 pm

Keep up the good work.

fedex227 02/02/13 - 12:13 pm
"A ton of Americans didn’t see the payroll tax ..

coming." A ton of Americans? Are you guys letting the 12-year olds write the editorials again? Okay, I'll bite- exactly how how many people are in a ton of Americans? Informed Americans knew exactly what was going to happen when the payroll tax was restored to it's current standard (non-temporary) rate.

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