Social Question

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What do you think of the politicians that are going to take an additional 2 percent of your gross wages as of 1/1/13?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (34406 points ) December 28th, 2012

The expiring tax law had reduced the FICA withholding from your paycheck from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent of your gross wages. If we go over the cliff, the rate returns to 6.2 percent. Your paycheck is going to get smaller immediately. And it’s not anything you can get refunded or you will ever see until you get to draw social security. How’s that make you feel about the politicians in the House and Senate? As always humor appreciated.

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24 Answers

DrBill's avatar

I expect it will happen, and as always, we will get through it.

philosopher's avatar

I think both parties are corrupt. No one represents the majority of American’s. If they did they would compromise. I would like to end both parties hold on the US. They all represent lobbyist, big business, Monsanto, drug companies and the wealthiest.
Unfortunately most people do not wish to work hard enough to promote real change. They support the undocumented nonsense of one party or the other.
The US has No real leadership.
People fair change and I do as well. However both parties are destroying our nation. They think of us as cattle and themselves as Royalty. I think of them as corrupt, immoral and worthless.

marinelife's avatar

I am not very happy about it. The Republicans do not seem to want to fix the economy. They want it broken for their own selfish reasons.

CWOTUS's avatar

To be honest, as much as I hate FICA, and would have gladly sacrificed my prior “contributions” and any right to collect (at least until I turned 50) for the right to forgo any future “contributions” and opt out of the system, cutting the “contribution” level to 4.2% of wage income simply hastened the day when the whole system goes bankrupt. In other words, it was a temporary measure to curry favor from stupid voters, and like most such measures it worked wonderfully at what it was intended to do.

I’m not terribly opposed to that bankruptcy, either, but it’s not at all fair to the suckers who have paid into it all their lives believing that it is a real “earned” benefit, and who will need it to survive ni their retirement.

It’s not that “the Republicans want… the economy… broken for their own selfish reasons”, @marinelife. It’s going to break anyway, given the policies that both major parties want to pursue. They just don’t want it to break in the same way the Democrats are willing to make it break.

filmfann's avatar

The tax break was nice while it lasted.
I really think this is an important issue that needs resolution, but if it doesn’t, I appreciate the help over the last few years.

wundayatta's avatar

I love it! I love it! I nearly had an orgasm without even touching myself!

Talk about loaded questions.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think only Republicans should pay the difference.

DrBill's avatar

I think only Democrats should pay the difference.

hearkat's avatar

We were paying more before, yes? Isn’t the bulk of the fiscal cliff the expiration of “temporary” tax breaks that have been extended numerous times? I no longer live paycheck-to-paycheck, so I’m OK with it.

I would like to see a serious overhaul of the tax codes, rather than more quick fixes that complicate the issues even more. Obviously, that’s not happening in a couple days’ time, though.

YARNLADY's avatar

Is the money going to politicians or is it going to pay for services and benefits?

nikipedia's avatar

If the government needs 2% more of my money to balance the budget and/or end the recession they can have it.

Unfortunately I do not think that allowing budget sequestration to go into effect will do that.

JLeslie's avatar

My husband bitches about it now and then. I think it never should have been lowered, so I am fine with it.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

I never liked the payroll holiday to begin with; it was an underhanded attack on Social Security (the less we pay in, the less there is in the fund…). This new nonsense regarding the chained CPI as a new meter for Social Security benefits is also an attack on Social Security and our safety net as a whole.

I’d rather they lift the cap on wages subject to the tax. Right now, only the first $110,100 is taxed. If this was lifted, the program would be in great shape for decades to come. Instead, our politicians pretend that Social Security is some sort of drag on our economy and deficit, and must be controlled/reduced (and some would love to eliminate it!), which is far from the truth.

Jaxk's avatar

@AngryWhiteMale

I am one strong conservative that would agree with you. I am opposed to raising taxes on anyone but this is one place where we could resolve a long standing problem that shouldn’t have a dramatic impact on the economy. Lifting the cap would only mean that the paycheck you get in January would be the same as what you get in December. And it would resolve most if not all the Social Security problem we have currently. One caveat however, would be that we can’t use the additional funds for all the pork barrel spending like we have in the past. Keep in in a separate fund for Social Security.

CWOTUS's avatar

In a sane world, and if we were talking about real economics and not “business as done by the US Congress”, I might agree with you, @Jaxk (and @AngryWhiteMale).

But we don’t live in that world. The US Congress does not act in a sane manner regarding the economy (or they think that we’re all stupid, which is frequently enough close enough to true to work for them).

The closer the government gets to “flush”, the richer they feel and the more largesse they feel they must bestow “on us, for our own good.” And to assure their own re-election, of course.

The sooner the government goes bankrupt, the better, I think.

Jaxk's avatar

If bankrupcy is what you want, we have the right people in government for you. I doubt you’ll find it very appealing though.

CWOTUS's avatar

I would find it more appealing than the current posturing and pretending that “little tweaks” will fix things.

In any case, no, I don’t expect fiscal failure of the government will be a pretty thing, but I do expect it to be “an inevitable thing”, so I’d prefer that we got it out of the way sooner, rather than dragging it out longer.

YARNLADY's avatar

I expect a miracle vote at the last possible moment.

CWOTUS's avatar

That should pretty much be the motto carved into the lintels above the doors to the House and Senate, @YARNLADY.

hearkat's avatar

It seems that’s what happened, @YARNLADY… we got notification that an agreement was reached just before 9:00 EST. I haven’t looked at the details yet.

JLeslie's avatar

I think they do all this bullshit of getting the media wound up and then waiting to the last minute to manipulate markets and of course “play politics.” I wonder how many politicians and their friends bought and sold into the stock market surrounding all the fiscal cliff talk?

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

@Jaxk, my understanding is that Social Security is a separate fund (as in separate from the federal budget) that is funded first by our contributions through our paychecks and employers, and then maintained using U.S. Treasury Bonds.

If it is a separate fund (and I believe this is the case), then there is no real problem; if it is not separate and is lumped together with the federal budget, then it is a general budget crisis (which I believe is what we have), and not a Social Security crisis (which is what the pols would have us believe).

The solution to the general budget crisis has many possible options, and none of those options needs to involve Social Security.

CWOTUS's avatar

It’s separate in the sense that my checking account is separate from my savings account. But when I go bust, then my creditors will take it from any account.

Of course, if you want to imagine that Social Security is an account that can be abandoned (as it surely will be at some point), then by all means keep thinking of it as somehow “separate”.

As things stand, how do you expect those US Treasury Bonds to be redeemed to pay off the debt to the SS “Trust Fund”? (I love the terminology there. “Trust fund” my ass.) Those remittances depend wholly on the General Fund.

Jaxk's avatar

@AngryWhiteMale

It’s all accounting gimmicks. Until the last couple of years Social Security ran a surplus. Of course that surplus was spent and replaced by Government IOUs. The surplus over the years adds up to something $2.7 trillion. That is what they use to say SS is solvent until 2042 (or whatever date they currently use). Unfortunately there is no money in a trust fund or anywhere else. To pay the benefits we have to borrow money because we spent the money in the trust fund.

Remember that SS is a tax. and the payouts are not cast in granite. They can be raised, lowered, or the terms changed at the whim of congress. It is a political promise with all the weight and assurances of any other political promise.

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