payroll tax

The Grand Bargain Under the Fiscal Cliff

fiscal cliff The main stream media has finally caught on that Congress will cause a major recession through economic blackmail in addressing the Fiscal cliff. Now there are calls for compromise. Ever notice when we hear the call for compromise there are few specifics? That's our problem with D.C. generally, policies based on facts, statistics and their effects not only are ignored, we hear plain lies on what these agendas actually do.

In 2011 there was a tentative deal to cut social security benefits and Medicare.

The blueprint for a deal to avoid a fiscal nightmare early next year may be found in the failed debt negotiations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner in mid-2011.

Part of their talks on a $4 trillion deficit-cutting plan included a gradual increase in the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and an alternative yardstick for calculating inflation that would reduce annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments.

Tax Facts Show Lower Personal Income Taxes Will Not Create Jobs

taxformsWe've noticed a hell of a lot of political B.S. baffle going on, in particular on business taxes. What happens is politicians conflate small business taxes with the individual income tax and that is due in part to the actual tax code.

The GOP typical claim is a lower top personal income tax rate will allow businesses to hire more people. That is really a lie. Business profits can enable more hiring, tax refunds for hiring and retaining employees can incentivize new jobs, but the personal income tax rates for those who own businesses has negligible effect.

One thing that gets lost in the rancor are business tax deductions. An employee's salary and most benefits are a business deduction. The business owner would not pay taxes on the costs of hiring a new employee beyond the payroll taxes associated with hiring, about 6.2% of salary. The most important element to hiring is demand for goods and services provided by the business, not taxes.

There are four most common business entities in the United States. Corporations, partnerships, S-corporations and sole proprietorships. Partnerships are primarily two types, a limited liability partnership (LLP) or a limited liability company (LLC). There are also other types of businesses, such as RICs, which are glorified investment vehicles with capital gains tax pass through. S-corporations also allow pass through taxes, although not as lenient as partnerships. Below is a graph of number of these firms by type, who had at least one paid employee during part of 2009.


type of business 2009


Social Security & Medicare Funds Run Dry Sooner Than Projected

The Deficit Boogie Men, Medicare and Social Security are once again knocking at the door. The Social Security Trustees just released their annual report. They say social security will run out of money by 2036. This is one year earlier than projected last year. Why the sudden shocking news? Seems the fund projected revenues greater than actual because gee, people have less income than originally thought.

How Obama is Going to Pay for a $245 Billion Cut to Social Security Contributions

out of work free cardWe all know the United States needs jobs. We need jobs right now! Last week Obama proposed a new Stimulus plan, which we did a first pass on. Unfortunately most press is busy covering superficial politics instead of what is in the bill, how it would be paid for and most importantly, the effectiveness, or lack thereof.

USA today claims the plan is to tax the rich as they put it, or as we put it, close loopholes and tax hedge fund managers, currently living living high off the hog at a 15% tax rate.

Here's the gist of how Obama plans to pay the $447 billion his plan costs.

  • Limit on itemized deductions ($200,000 individuals, $250,000 families) - $400 billion
  • Carried interest would be treated as "ordinary income" rather than at capital-gains rate - $18 billion
  • Oil- and gas-company tax breaks - $40 billion
  • Corporate-jet depreciation would change - $3 billion

Saturday Reads Around The Internets - Outsourcing Jobs and Tax Cuts

Welcome to the weekly roundup of great articles, facts and figures. These are the weekly finds that made our eyes pop.

You may wonder why to create jobs, government doesn't just stop offshore outsourcing them? We sure do. With that, the theme of this week's links is offshore outsourcing.


First Pass on Obama's Jobs Stimulus Redux

President Obama introduced his so called jobs plan, spending $447 billion. 51% of this is tax cuts, 31% is infrastructure and local aid and 14% of unemployment insurance. Firstly, it has been shown time and time again, tax cuts do not create jobs. We just showed one would be better off hiring people to cut grass with scissors than enact a payroll tax cut. The payroll tax cuts alone are $240 billion, or over half of Obama's plan.

Payroll Tax Cut As Stimulus

One cornerstone of Obama's jobs plan is a $120 billion payroll tax cut. This tax cut has been enacted already for 2011 and according to Obama, the claim is this tax cut put an average $1000 into worker's pockets.

This is a tax cut that reduced those Social Security contributions, what you see as FICA, the social security component, on your W-2, by 2% for 2011. That's right, they defunded social security by 2% for 2011.

Social security is calculated on gross income, normally 6.2%. This is why attacking social security is almost a crime. You've actually been putting money into your benefit your entire working life. It's capped to a wage base and for 2011 it's $106,800.

Additionally, median income is a tad misleading, for it's household income, on aggregate, instead of individual income. Additionally, it's not median wages, which since social security is a regressive tax, affecting wage earners disporportionately, using median income to estimate the tax benefit isn't quite right. After all, most of us are have nots, the median wage for 2009 was $26,261, much lower than the household median income of $49,777 for 2009.

Killing Social Security

On Monday, December 13, the US Senate will vote on a bill that represents the destruction of Social Security. The measure reduces the employee payroll tax by 33% (from 6.2 to 4.2%). Social Security is in good shape right now but this reduction will starve the Trust Fund and give the excuse to say - "Look, it's broke. We have to privatize it."

Save Social Security - call or write your US Senators and tell them to vote no on reducing funding for Social Security - period. No compromises at all.

United States Senate Email/Web and Phone contact.

UPDATE: The Senate passed a cloture resolution limiting debate on the presidents proposal (aka sell out) to give millionaires huge tax breaks and hammer the people by putting Social Security at risk. That assures passage of the legislation in the Senate. Sen. Bernie Sanders has a Show Filibuster last Friday but it wasn't for real. Today - before the "cloture vote" - would have been the time. Bernie benched himself and his gal pal, Sen. Mary Landrieu, who helped last Friday, said that filibuster was only for the tax cuts for millionaires, not the entire package." We are nothing to them.

Michael Collins

We are at a unique moment in our history. The decadence of those in charge has reached menacing proportions.

(Washington, Dec 10) Bill Clinton showed up at the White House for an "impromptu" press conference to discuss the president's tax compromise with the Republicans. Clinton disclosed that "I make a lot of money now" and, as a result, he would benefit from the program. Then he endorsed the compromise calling it the best deal Obama could make. Clinton was particularly high on the Social Security payroll tax reduction. "According to all economic analysis, [this is] the single most effective tax cut you can do to support economic activity. This will actually create a fair number of jobs. I expect it to lower the unemployment rate and keep us going." (Image)

Across town, United States Senator Bernie Sanders was telling the simple truth that Obama and Clinton avoided.