"Generally speaking, I would be in favor of any tax increases that might magically get through Congress at this point being significantly (or totally) weighted toward the wealthy. (...) That said, I am 29 years old, and out of my entire working life thus far, 2011 was the first year that I made more than 20 thousand dollars - and most of that time I made less than 15. So unless that amount of income sounds heavenly to you, chances are you can spare at least as much money for taxes as I can."
And here we are--for the first time since I started this blog a year and a half ago, taxes have actually gone up. And not just any taxes, but my taxes. Despite the largest new chunk of revenue in the new Fiscal Cliff deal coming from households making over 450 thousand dollars per year, Congress chose to let 2011's payroll tax cut expire without a patch, which means that we're all paying 2% more into Social Security than we were a month ago.
And part of that bears repeating, because it's easy to lump this whole situation in with the Bush Tax Cuts, the end of which are now bringing about higher taxes on the aforementioned upper incomes. But the social security tax, the one that's now cutting an average of $32.75 out of all Americans' paychecks, was passed in the Obama administration, by a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House.
It was only intended to last for one year in the first place, but was extended an additional year as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation, oh, and Puppies and Rainbows and Ice Cream Act of 2012. So it's important to keep in mind that those of us who are feeling some degree of hurt over this are only doing so because Democrats chose to give us a bit of a break, not because of some insane and antiquated Republican tax plan.
Per the quote above, it's fair to assume I'd be defending the tax increase in this space no matter where it was going, but it's especially reassuring to know that it's Social Security--if any part of the federal budget needs a boost from the full length and breadth of American taxpayers, it's that. I for one would like it to still be there in forty years or so. And speaking of the quote above, I should note that my own paycheck has gone down exactly $23.36, so that should tell you roughly where I am within said length and breadth.
I can spare it. Can't you?
Ouch! No, you’re not imagining it. Your paycheck just shrank.