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Inside Obama's Twitter Blitz On the Payroll Tax

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the this-is-politics-in-the-future-and-i-am-sad dept.

Communications 294

Hugh Pickens writes "Brandon Rittiman reports that White House officials launched a Twitter campaign Tuesday to put pressure on Congress to reach a deal extending the payroll-tax cut. Using the Twitter hashtag #40dollars, the White House successfully got thousands of people to respond and explain what a $40 cut to each paycheck would mean to them personally. By Wednesday morning, the #40dollars hashtag started 'trending,' which is what happens when Twitter's algorithms see a topic suddenly surge. It's not easy to create that kind of surge, but the White House has 2.5 million Twitter followers to call upon. Macon Phillips, the President's Director of Digital Strategy, says his team has managed to get a few Twitter topics to rise to the level of 'trending' before — most notably when they began tweeting about the death of Osama bin Laden. 'What's very important about a social-media campaign like this is that regular people are making the point about how this would affect them. It's not us here in Washington trying to argue on their behalf.' says Phillips. 'The #40dollars campaign puts a face on that amount to demonstrate the payroll tax cut's real-world impact on middle-class families.'"

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294 comments

But (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473784)

I thought tax cuts are evil and stuff?

Re:But (3, Interesting)

Timewasted (1731254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473864)

Well that depends: who are the tax cuts for? If they are for the poor, then of course it is evil. If they are for the rich, then it will spur job growth and our economy -- at least, this is what FOX would like us to believe...

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474018)

Well that depends: who are the tax cuts for? If they are for the poor, then of course it is evil. If they are for the rich, then it will spur job growth and our economy -- at least, this is what FOX would like us to believe...

Uh. Normally it's the Democrats saying tax cuts are evil. The GOP is all for tax cuts, of any size, for any group, even when operating at a deficit (They'll clean that up later, with handwaving and "economic stimulation", which I'm convinced is code for their 'escorts' to meet them that night).

If you're going to grossly caricaturize the two groups and their moronic 'ideals', at least get them plausible.

Re:But (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474194)

The republicans are only for the tax cuts the democrats are against. So its not so much that they are pro-tax cut but that they are anti-democrat.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474516)

Maybe the Democrats are anti-Republican? Maybe this kind of two party nonsense has taken our eyes off the ball and let the man on the street get fucked left right up and down?
 
Think about it.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474524)

In reality they're aren't so much 'Anti-American' as they are 'Anti-Democrat', but it may seem that way.

Re:But (5, Interesting)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474210)

As a fairly regular FOX radio news listener (know thy enemy and all that rot) I can assure you that this IS the tripe they spit out on a daily basis ... which is what the parent post stated, not REP vs DEM's.

If nothing else its the more vocal nutters from the TP that are harping every single day that things like extending unemployment during a very high period of unemployment is a terrible thing to do as it encourages dependence, but giving tax breaks to people / companies that already exploit every single loophole in loopholes is a 100% sure fire way to grow the economy.

I am personally somewhere in the middle, yes people do not need to be accustom to a handout, but giving megacorp a break is just going to help Brazil, India and China cause at the end of the day their only goal is to squeeze every single ounce of profit that they possibly can by any means necessary.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474282)

Unemployment is not a tax break, so... that doesn't factor into "Republicans think tax cuts for the poor are evil" at all. So. Um...

Re:But (2, Informative)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474306)

The Republicans (and apparently the President) wanted the tax holiday extended all year. The Democrats talked them down to two months.

Re:But (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474346)

The Republicans wanted to tie pipeline subsidies to the year long tax holiday. To suggest that it was just a matter of 2 months versus 12 months is disingenuous

Re:But (3, Insightful)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474758)

Well, Mr. Ingenuous, the pipeline thing would require an up-or-down ruling on the Keystone Pipeline. (Obama's EPA is holding it up because it makes environmentalists mad despite being a good idea.) The Republican bill doesn't even require them to approve it. Calling that provision a subsidy (e.g., the owners of the pipeline getting some kind of monetary payment from the government) isn't ingenuous at all.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474438)

Why is this modded troll? This is actually what Fox preaches - its Reaganomics 101.

Posting as AC for obvious reasons.

Re:But (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474728)

What are tax cuts for the poor? The poor usually have no federal tax liability. You mean the rest of us should "refund" them money that they never paid?

$40 for Obama (0)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473948)

Re:$40 for Obama (1)

Timewasted (1731254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473978)

Treats for his dog [cnsnews.com]

The funny thing is, President Obama probably spent less for his pet on Christmas than a majority of Americans...

Re:$40 for Obama (0, Redundant)

T5 (308759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474152)

Unless you consider the cost of flying his dog back from Hawaii for a photo op a couple of days ago. That cost we US taxpayers plenty.

Well, this one is. (5, Insightful)

cje (33931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474158)

I hate to say it, because it's horribly unpopular from a political perspective, but this payroll tax "holiday" is just disastrous policy. Depending on what numbers and what year you're looking at, anywhere from 81 to 89 percent of the entire U.S. budget goes to two things: defense and entitlements. And of those entitlements, the biggest long-term liabilities and problems that we have are Social Security and Medicare.

When you hear these Presidential candidates talk about how they would fix the budget deficits by getting rid of things like the EPA, the IRS, the Departments of Commerce / Energy / Education, etc., then you know should know that they are not making any sort of good-faith effort at solving the problem, and that they cannot be taken seriously. The dirty little secret is that you could cut out 100% of the discretionary non-defense spending (i.e., everything except for the military and entitlements) and you would have barely made a dent in the problem as a whole.

The whole purpose of the payroll/FICA tax is to provide funds for Social Security and Medicate. Again, these are the two biggest problems that the U.S. has from a budget perspective -- biggest by leaps and bounds. So not only does this policy make the deficit problem worse, it makes it worse in the worst possible way. Politicians can claim that these tax cuts are "paid for", but everybody knows that these types of Washington claims are usually just shell games for political purposes.

For what it's worth, I like the fact that the payroll tax holiday disproportionally benefits those towards the lower end of the income scale. But there has to be a better way to do this, especially at this critical time in history when the Boomers are retiring and we're going to need these trust funds more than at any time in our history.

Re:But (4, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474490)

No Democrat has ever claimed that all tax cuts are evil. That's just a flagrant lie. By contrast, the Republicans do claim that taxes are always bad and should only ever go down. So why are they set against this one?

Answer: They're not. They're just taking hostages, again. Just as when they secured the extension of the Bush tax cuts on the rich by threatening to cut off unemployment benefits around this time last year. Or when they forced cuts to discretionary spending by threatening to force the country into default. This time they're trying to secure a new oil pipeline, and probably other concessions, by threatening to raise taxes on the middle class.

Social Media: Removing Money from Politics (1, Interesting)

Timewasted (1731254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473810)

It is great to see Twitter used for people to have their voice heard! I have more respect for politicians when they take the time to listen to the people rather than corporate lobbies. Having the Twitter trending algorithm manage our political agenda is a scary thought, however.

Re:Social Media: Removing Money from Politics (5, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474462)

Especially when it's being used by politicians to manipulate people who don't actually have a broader understandimg of the issues at hand. Yep, great to see.

*yawn* (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38473846)

The disagreement was never over the payroll tax holiday. The disagreement was over how to pay for it. The President's initial proposal was to pay for it with the millionaire's surtax, which he knew that Republicans opposed before he proposed it.

For Democrats who are pretending to not understand, this would be the equivalent of the Republicans proposing to pay for it by slashing Obama Care, and then accusing the President of being against the payroll tax holiday when he came out against the legislation.

For some reason, the media has used this as a huge opportunity to bash Republicans. Want to know why Republicans don't want to extend the tax holiday for two months? They don't want to go through the same media circus again in two months.

The bias of our media is pathetic. The stupidity of our population is tragic. The fate of our people is obvious. Next year we elect the last President of the United States. We face serious problems in the next five years, and the media has successfully kept anyone remotely competent out of the race.

This is going to be hilarious.

Re:*yawn* (4, Insightful)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473980)

The thing is, it's only Republican legislaters that are so darn against the millionaire's surtax. The majority of Americans are okay with it, and a great deal of millionaires are also okay with it. The only people fighting it tooth and nail are those who kissed the ring of Grover Norquist, and those whose districts are held hostage by the Tea Party. Oh, and delisional Tea Partiers who are retired or unemployed yet somehow believe they'll be making a million bucks a year ANY DAY NOW.

Re:*yawn* (0)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474006)

Until they start losing their jobs due to the surtax.

You didn't think that anyone was going to modify their standard of living as a result of tax policy, did you?

Re:*yawn* (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474250)

Are there really people out there that decide whether to hire or fire based on their personal income tax?

If a business is set up to make money to begin with, seems like it'd make more sense to base hiring and layoff decisions around meeting demand. And it would logically follow that policies that increase demand will benefit "job creators" more, unless their taxes are so severe (like, say, 100%+) that meeting increased demand costs them money.

People who make all their income from investments might not like it very much, but by the same token, how many of them hire and fire or base their investment decisions on their personal tax rate?

Re:*yawn* (1)

emeraldd (1609773) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474510)

It might be worth noting that for some businesses, partnerships, sole proprietorships and, some LLCs, personal income taxes of the owners include the business profits. While I'm not sure on the millionaire surtax specifically, anything that could significantly impact a business owners personal tax rate could significantly impact the businesses cash flow. I can definitely see some one making decisions based on that.

Re:*yawn* (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474366)

You're making the invalid assumption that millionaires create jobs. We've already seen how well that works out with the Bush cuts: a widening disparity between the super-rich and other classes. Millionaires and above really participate in creative job destruction. For example, they can efficiently assign an analysis to do the work of 10 data crunchers. One could view this as creating 1 job or destroying 9. A smaller business might not achieve the same efficiencies and higher more people. I'm not saying there is a moral right or wrong to either situation. Just that translating tax dollars to jobs misses some of the more interesting and complex nuances in how jobs are actually created and by who.

Re:*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474162)

I realize it hurts, but the majority of taxes are covered by the rich.

Re:*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474232)

Which is at it should be, as the rich make most of the money.

Re:*yawn* (1)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474262)

The thing is, it's only Republican legislaters that are so darn against the millionaire's surtax.

Actually, the money is coming out of Social Security not the general budget. The argument for SS is that it is a government managed retirement fund and that what you get out is based on what you put in. Receiving SS benefits is equivalent to a 401k or pension in that you get what you earned.

Making millionaires contribute to SS is changing the meaning of what it is, from something I earned to getting other peoples' money. This actually makes it less secure because it takes away the moral aspect of receiving SS benefits. It goes from something I earned to wanting other peoples' money. Which makes it easier for politicians to cut benefits in the future.

Re:*yawn* (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474708)

Social security was never meant to be like a 401(k); it was meant as a combination retirement plan/insurance plan. That's why you can get SS benefits well before retirement in certain circumstances, in which case you are almost inevitably getting a lot more out than you paid in.

Re:*yawn* (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474292)

Oh, and delisional Tea Partiers who are retired or unemployed yet somehow believe they'll be making a million bucks a year ANY DAY NOW.

Or they're ACTUALLY FUCKING HUMAN and can empathize with people other than themselves.

I understand that for the rationalist liberal, taxing the most out of every tax bracket you're not in is clearly the "right thing to do" but some of us who have FUCKING HEARTS can understand that, just because it might not hurt you personally, it still hurts others and has other consequences.

So you're right, rationally, it doesn't matter to retired people if other people start losing their jobs as investors stop investing as there's no point since they lose everything in taxes. Except when their 401k becomes worthless and social security fails because you've destroyed the economy through taxes.

No, wait, maybe there IS rationality to the Tea Party position, and you're just a vindictive asshole.

Re:*yawn* (0)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474520)

Oh, and delisional Tea Partiers who are retired or unemployed yet somehow believe they'll be making a million bucks a year ANY DAY NOW.

Or they're ACTUALLY FUCKING HUMAN and can empathize with people other than themselves.

I understand that for the rationalist liberal, taxing the most out of every tax bracket you're not in is clearly the "right thing to do" but some of us who have FUCKING HEARTS can understand that, just because it might not hurt you personally, it still hurts others and has other consequences.

So you're right, rationally, it doesn't matter to retired people if other people start losing their jobs as investors stop investing as there's no point since they lose everything in taxes. Except when their 401k becomes worthless and social security fails because you've destroyed the economy through taxes.

No, wait, maybe there IS rationality to the Tea Party position, and you're just a vindictive asshole.

Yes, it's very compassionate to let people starve to death or die of treatable illnesses in order to allow a few rich people to sit on slightly larger piles of cash.

Re:*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474408)

The thing is, it's only Republican legislaters that are so darn against the millionaire's surtax. The majority of Americans are okay with it, and a great deal of millionaires are also okay with it. The only people fighting it tooth and nail are those who kissed the ring of Grover Norquist, and those whose districts are held hostage by the Tea Party. Oh, and delisional Tea Partiers who are retired or unemployed yet somehow believe they'll be making a million bucks a year ANY DAY NOW.

No...not everyone is for the millionaire surtax. I am not a millionaire nor will I ever be one because I can say honestly I don't want to work that hard (I wish more people would be honest about this). I am very much content with my current financial position. I will better myself within my current professorial position, but it has hard limits on how much I can earn. However, it is immoral to think that someone should pay more in taxes solely because they have more money. Government is a service to the people which at its core is to protect their liberty and god given rights (at least in the US). None of my wages belong to the government, they are mine and mine alone...I pay taxes because I support it's fundamental purpose. The idea that the government should take more from the wealthy so those with less can pay less taxes is counter to the principles that the US was founded because then the government is no longer protecting the peoples god given right to life, liberty, and 'their' purist of happeniess. The government is literally setting limits on how much 'happeniess' anyone one person may obtain.

Re:*yawn* (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474596)

Of course the majority of Americans are OK with it - it doesn't apply to them. Now let's define what "a great deal of millionaires is" (25%? 50%?) and now you show me a poll that backs up that statement.

Re:*yawn* (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474034)

the bias in the media favoring the rich is pathetic. It eclipsed any brief sanity in the payroll tax holiday.

Re:*yawn* (4, Insightful)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474116)

Yeah, as much as I hate how biased Fox news is, CNN surprised me with something I happened to catch when I was in the grocery store and happened to see it on. They were talking to one of the Republican presidential hopefuls about what his view on the whole thing was and he was answering quite well I thought (in terms of explaining his view) that he didn't want to gut the money from elsewhere and that he thought that there needed to be some way to fund the tax cut and was being pretty clear that while he didn't like the idea of allowing it to expire he wasn't seeing an alternative that he thought would work, but the anchor would not let go of trying to ask him if he was in favor of raising taxes even though he was already being pretty direct at stating his view. The CNN anchor was clearly trying to corner him in to having to say something unpopular as opposed to having a dialog and talking about the issues it would cause. It was politics not news and appeared very clearly biased to me.

Re:*yawn* (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474364)

Here's the thing: at this point, I don't really care anymore what Republicans say. They pretty much lost me for the foreseeable future with their stance on the tax holiday.

Note: I'm pretty fiscally conservative. In my own finances, I only spend money I have, plan for the future with a significant rainy day fund, and consider whether the purchase I'm about to make is a need vs a want, and what its ROI is. I expect my government to work with the same principles. In theory, this should align nicely with the republican platform of small budgets and low taxes.

But this latest position of the republicans is just laughable. Tax cuts for the rich are a great way to restart the economy, but tax cuts for middle class families is just a failed stimulus package? Cutting revenue when instituting tax cuts for the rich is fine, but tax cuts for the middle class need to be balanced by more taxes on the middle-class elsewhere? The entire republican party seems to be intent on opposing Obama so blindly that they're willing to sacrifice their own talking points. Not only that, but they're even failing their own platform by their mindless opposition. They're digging their own grave, and it's gonna be hard climb out.

As for your other points...

The bias of our media is pathetic.

The media have no bias. They are corporations, interested only in their own profit. As a result, the only bias you see is the bias that helps them sell their media.

The stupidity of our population is tragic.

Of course, this comes with the unspoken idea "If people would only listen to me..." I might be part of the tragic population, but at least I know that the problem we're facing is difficult with no easy solution. It's not stupidity that's the problem, it's that there is a very large set of competing priorities battling for limited resources in a system prone to adversarialism, designed for slowness and that is being gamed by individuals and groups with lots of money. the solution to our problem is neither political nor bureaucratic. It will have to be personal, which is much more difficult. The first two can be solved by a top-down approach. The third can only solved botttom-up.

Next year we elect the last President of the United States.

We face serious problems in the next five years, and the media has successfully kept anyone remotely competent out of the race.

Bullshit. This is the lament of the deluded and the pussies. The rabid conservative wing has successfully kept anyone competent out of the GOP primary. If the hard-core conservatives want to win the Presidency, they need to stop annoying the majority of Americans and piss off a rather significant minority.

Re:*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474570)

It's not just Republicans. Do you really think Obama can save this country?

lol.

Our number one problem is that we are spending ourselves into bankruptcy. Obama won't even acknowledge this until it is far too late.

And that's just problem #1.

Problem #2
What do you think are the chances of a major war in the middle east in the next ten years? My guess is 80%. Without a strong US President, there will be World War III.

Obama is not the guy.

I could keep listing problems, but these two are enough to completely annihilate the US and most of the world.

Go read the National Review. The looters have already taken over in California. The rest of the country is heading in the same direction.

We don't need a good President. We need a fucking Abraham Lincoln.

And I don't see one anywhere.

Re:*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474770)

With what is in place now an Abraham Lincoln would struggle to get any visibility.

Most tweeters were clueless yesterday (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38473848)

The 40 dollars number was completely lost on a majority of tweeters yesterday. Many thought it was 40 dollars a week.

Re:Most tweeters were clueless yesterday (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474218)

Maybe they thought that because thats what the President of the United States has been saying.

Obama: "we asked folks to tell us what would it be like to lose $40 out of your paycheck every week. And I have to tell you that the response has been overwhelming. We haven't seen anything like this before. Over 30,000 people have written in so far"

$40 figure is bullshit (0, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473856)

Whitehouse repeatedly says $1000 per year and $40 per week in the same breath. Anyone care to take a guess which figure is bullshit?

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38473888)

That's was '$40 a paycheck', another 'conservative' who can't figure out math. $40 x 26 paychecks a year = $1040

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (2, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474200)

Source: The Whitehouse [whitehouse.gov]

The President said: "[On] Tuesday, we asked folks to tell us what would it be like to lose $40 out of your paycheck every week. And I have to tell you that the response has been overwhelming. We haven't seen anything like this before. Over 30,000 people have written in so far"

Thats a direct quote from the President of The United States, as cited by his website.

Thats $40 per week, another 'liberal' who can't realize when they are being bullshitted.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473890)

$40 a paycheck, at a paycheck every two weeks, is about $1000 a year. Not everyone is paid weekly.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474112)

In more than a few states, it is either illegal to pay biweekly or it is considered a special circumstance that must be approved first and is then subject to frequent reviews (complaints from employees will void the waiver.)

Now I'm not sure where you live, but in the state I live it seem to be rare for a company to either get approval to pay biweekly or perhaps rare that they make such a request, for I don't know *anyone* paid biweekly.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474154)

Interesting info. I've never worked at a job yet on the west coast where I was not paid bi-weekly.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474170)

We get it. You're a moron. A Republican moron. All apologies for the redundancy.

Best wishes.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (1, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474436)

Source [state.ct.us]

Weekly payment of wages. Exemptions. (Sec. 31-71b). (a) Each employer, by himself, his agent or representative, shall pay weekly all moneys due each employee on a regular pay day, designated in advance by the employer, in cash, by negotiable checks or, upon an employee's written request, by credit to such employee's account in any bank which has agreed with the employer to accept such wage deposits. (b) The end of the pay period for which payment is made on a regular pay day shall be not more than eight days before such regular pay day, provided, if such regular pay day falls on a nonwork day, payment shall be made on the preceding work day. (c) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a local or regional board of education and a recognized or certified exclusive bargaining representative of its certified or noncertified employees from including within their collective bargaining agreement a schedule for the payment of wages to certified employees or noncertified employees that differs from the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section. (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to employees swapping workdays or shifts as permitted under a collective bargaining agreement.

I get it. Anonymous Cowards are liberals that know that they dont know what they are talking about.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (1)

flirno (945854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474318)

The only times that I have ever been paid weekly were when working temporary jobs. Every part time and full time job that I have held has been bi-weekly. I have had contract jobs where hours reported was weekly but the paychecks were still cut bi-weekly.

They said $40 per paycheck (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473892)

Paychecks are normally bi-weekly. 40x26 = 1040 so sounds like the math is consistent. If it is correct or not I can't say, but it is consistent.

Re:They said $40 per paycheck (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474060)

What do you base this idea that "paychecks are normally bi-weekly" on ? Over the course of my working life, I have been paid monthly, bi-weekly, weekly, and semi-monthly, but by far the majority of my employers paid me on a weekly basis.

Re:They said $40 per paycheck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474228)

Interesting info. Where have you worked? During college I worked at a painting company and was paid bi-weekly. Out of college I've had various technical jobs for the last 14 years and have always been paid bi-weekly in that line of work as well. This is in Washington and Oregon.

Re:They said $40 per paycheck (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474534)

every other job I have had switches

biweekly
weekly
biweekly
weekly
biweekly
currently weekly

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (1)

Enry (630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473906)

FTFA:

The payroll tax holiday would keep an extra $1,000 in the pockets of an average American worker — or $40 per paycheck, according to the administration.

Most people get paid every two weeks. 26 paychecks * $40= $1040. Some get paid twice a month. 24 paychecks * $40 = $960.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (1)

Timewasted (1731254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473908)

Isn't the White House saying $40 / paycheck or did I miss something? For those of us who have real jobs, we get paid once every 2 weeks. Hence, $40 / paycheck is just over $1000 / year.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38473972)

From TFA:

Forty dollars reflects about how much a bi-weekly paycheck would decrease for a worker earning $50,000 in the event no deal is made to extend the tax cut.

Umm ... you missed something? $40 per bi-weekly paycheck works out to $1040 per year which rounds down to $1000 rather nicely.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (3, Informative)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473998)

Isn't the White House saying $40 / paycheck or did I miss something? For those of us who have real jobs, we get paid once every 2 weeks. Hence, $40 / paycheck is just over $1000 / year.

Quote from Obama

"[On] Tuesday, we asked folks to tell us what would it be like to lose $40 out of your paycheck every week. "
Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/22/president-obama-discusses-what-40-means-americans-families [whitehouse.gov]

A more important deception is that it is a reduction in the amount taxpayers pay into Social Security--NOT the general budget. This is more akin to reducing the amount of 401k withholdings than a tax break because you will have to make it up later one way or another--either through reduced SS benefits or increased SS taxes to make up for the deficit.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474084)

you will have to make it up later one way or another--either through reduced SS benefits or increased SS taxes to make up for the deficit.

Nah, they are going to make it up by making our children(or at this point, more likely our grandchildren, they have already spent all the money our children are going to earn) pay more in SS taxes.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38473932)

Assuming you're getting paid every two weeks, it works. With it in mind that there are 52 weeks in the year, take 1000 dollars per year / 40 dollars less taxed per paycheck = 25 pay periods you can 'give back' those $40.
 
Whether or not it's good/bad/waffles for the economy is a different story altogether.

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473982)

$40 per paycheck (if being paid bi-weekly as most people are) does come out to roughly $1000/yr

Re:$40 figure is bullshit (1)

Ykant (318168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474068)

No, they keep claiming $40 per paycheck. Most people are paid every other week. Which maths out to $1040 annually.

Carving up SS trust fund like a Christmas Turkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38473926)

More bipartisan free lunches.

Future SS recipients must not be tweeting because they are too young to know the screwing they are getting.

Using the media to hide the impact (5, Interesting)

drainbramage (588291) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473936)

Isn't thei tax the source of funding for SSI?
It looks like saying "I'm cutting the payroll tax" == "I'm bankrupting SSI faster than ever!"
SSI is in the red, this will not help, it will hurt 'real-world' 'middle-class families'.
This goes well past obfuscation and looks like intentional dishonesty to me.
This will hurt everyone.

Re:Using the media to hide the impact (1)

Timewasted (1731254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38473994)

Isn't thei tax the source of funding for SSI? It looks like saying "I'm cutting the payroll tax" == "I'm bankrupting SSI faster than ever!" SSI is in the red, this will not help, it will hurt 'real-world' 'middle-class families'. This goes well past obfuscation and looks like intentional dishonesty to me. This will hurt everyone.

And we can only hope this leads to less defense spending and tax rates that were on par with the 1960s and '70s.

Re:Using the media to hide the impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474090)

Well, sorta of true. Under the Reagan administration, the government realized that when baby-boomer retired there would be a shortfall in the SS fund. So they raised SS taxes on every working person so that you would not only pay for the current retirees, but a portion would be saved to keep SS solvent when the baby-boomers retire as well. THis means that every worker is paying more than in SS payment than is needed to maintain the current generation of retirees.

SS is also hurt by a slow economy. If you don't have a job, you don't pay into SS. If you make less money, SS get less money.

While I believe that rich people are pretty much leeching off the working class and should be taxes higher, I don't have a whole lot of problems cutting SS taxes. We'll have to make it up somehow. My bigger concern is when there is talk about cutting SS benefits. SS is paid for outside of the regular income tax and has no bearing on the current deficit. The government borrows from the SS fund to pay for it's wars and such. By cutting SS, the government is basically defaulting on their repayment of the loans from the SS fund. That's what we really have to watch.

Re:Using the media to hide the impact (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474606)

SS is also hurt by a slow economy. If you don't have a job, you don't pay into SS. If you make less money, SS get less money.

Yes, but since your benefits are tied to your earnings, SS will have to pay out less too.

Ultimately I think SS will be fixed by lifting the cap on the amount of salary that is subject to payroll taxes and an increase in retirement age.

The real problem is Medicare. There is no way that can be fixed with a really drastic change in the US healthcare system, something that has been shown to be a very hard thing to do.

Re:Using the media to hide the impact (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474432)

Historically, SS ran a surplus and the extra money went in the general fund in exchange for magic treasury bonds. We'll soon be hitting the third year that SS ran a deficit, originally due to increases in unemployment, increases in retirement, and a generally shitty economy where people who are eligible to retire are unemployed and decide to retire rather than look for another job. Last year's 2% temporary reduction exacerbated that as will the extension (which will no doubt be extended).

Some people like to pretend social security has a lockbox or surplus sitting somewhere but that defies any sort of critical thinking. If you have $1000 in your retirement account, borrow that money to buy some meth and then proceed to smoke up said meth, that money is gone.

Re:Using the media to hide the impact (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474450)

"The two-month version's $33 billion cost will be covered by a .1 percentage point increase on guarantee fees on new home loans backed by mortgage giants Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae"

If this cut means $40 to you (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474012)

If this cut means $40 in each weekly paycheck, you are doing pretty well for your self. It is only a 2% cut in the Social Security tax withholding. For the average U.S. household, that is less than $25 a week. So apparently, Obama is targeting this tax cut to the rich, since his target demographic will get $40 a week from it? The other great part of this is that the House was getting beat up for not passing this two month extension, when they had passed a one year extension.
Of course, what I love is that the people pushing this are the people who cry about "ending social security as we know it" every time someone proposes a plan to make social security more likely to be long term sustainable.

Re:If this cut means $40 to you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474108)

Of course, what I love is that the people pushing this are the people who cry about "ending social security as we know it" every time someone proposes a plan to make social security more likely to be long term sustainable.

That's because 'social security as they know it' is not what you think of. To them, it is a perpetual crisis they can use to manipulate voters.

Re:If this cut means $40 to you (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474140)

No, this is not true.

FICA is not withheld beyond a certain maximum income (unlike Medicare). The cutoff is $106,800, and has been for the last 3 years. Back in the early 00s it was in the 80k range. In any event, after you've paid in your $6600 or so in FICA yearly, you don't get the withholding anymore, so there's no payroll tax cut for you after this limit is reached. But if you think about it, if you are making enough that FICA withholding cuts out on you faster, that means you got fewer $40 a pay period cuts. Therefore you got less of this particular tax holiday.

Regardless of the wisdom or lack thereof of this measure, it is not targeted at the rich.

Re:If this cut means $40 to you (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474358)

So basically Obama, when he says "$40 in your weekly paycheck" is targeting those who make over $104,000 a year ($40 is 2 percent of $2000 and $2000 times 52 is $104,000), and you say he is not targeting the rich?

Re:If this cut means $40 to you (3, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474482)

Most people get paid every two weeks, which is the basis used to come up with the $40. Not weekly.

Also the House got beat up justifiably. The one year extension they passed included stuff like unemployment insurance duration cuts.

i especially like how (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474024)

in their obstinance to defy anything obama tries to do, no matter how good or bad for the american people, the republican leadership is willing to oppose a tax CUT

because the tax cut is not for rich people?

republican robots: if you define yourself as "i'm everything that guy is not" and that guy is actually decent, where does that leave your political future?

Re:i especially like how (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474100)

You mean that passing a year long extension rather than a two month extension is what you call opposing a tax cut?

Re:i especially like how (3, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474672)

They intentionally added tons of unrelated, partisan crap to the one year bill. Essentially, they were taking the American people hostage. Obama and the Senate refused to play that game, and so came up with a two month extension to buy time in the hopes that the Republicans will stop taking hostages.

It's a vain hope, and we'll be right back where we started in two months -- the Republicans with a gun to the head of the American people, demanding that we give them the world. Same as they did with the unemployment benefits last year, and the debt ceiling some months ago. So don't you dare try to pretend that the Republicans were behaving ethically in proposing that "one year extension". To do so makes you either ignorant or a liar.

Re:i especially like how (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474164)

That would make sense if they opposed the tax cut (which isn't a "cut" as a cut would infer permanence; it is a tax holiday or temporary reduction). They didn't oppose the cut itself, they opposed the length of time, preferring a year over two months. Even national payroll companies said the two month cut would be exceedingly difficult due to the paperwork involved, promoting instead a one year cut. In fact, the cut would help everyone through their first $106,800 of earnings, including the uber-wealthy.

It is humorous to watch people complain about the mindless GOP while being mindless in their own right.

Re:i especially like how (1)

LeanSystems (2513566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474558)

You too are mindless. This was part of Obama's "Jobs Bill". If that would have been passed this issue would be moot. But the 'pubs didn't like it because Obama liked it. So the Dems have proposed a 2 month extension so they can have a nice Christmas break and debate this in January.

There is also the issue of the Keystone Pipeline... which is really funny because the 'pubs are calling that "shovel ready" and claiming it will create 100k jobs. This just a few months after the chants that "the government can't create jobs".

Just for the record Democrats aren't all roses and glitter either... they both need to be slapped around.

No risks (0)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474284)

Half the voting Americans are clueless and can easily be suckered into believing a decent politician is an undercover Muslim from Kenya who wants to destroy the nation under a Fascist dictatorship and impose communist socialism. (I'm not making that up, its been said multiple times for years.)

In Australia when their ruling party fucked up big they lost every seat except a some cities; but in the USA with the 3 branch GOP 8 year foobar 100x worse they only barely lost control of 2 branches but easily gummed things up for the upper 1% until the next season of advertizing. (Plus the crook democrats need a cover story to excuse them from selling out and essentially being republican.) Sorry, if I offended the loyal customers who think Republican means something other than the brand name it now is which was bought and payed for many years ago. The dems are not in a much better shape.

Are Americans just that much more stupid than Australians? perhaps. Australia REQUIRES EVERYBODY TO VOTE; perhaps that is the main difference? Parliament systems are probably better.

#650billionformilitaryisstupid (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474026)

should be the next tag the white house pushes. The US cannot afford spending $650 billion on a military we don't need.

Are the paycheck cuts for congress members? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474070)

Are they petitioning congress because they want to lower the paycheck of congress employees?

Re:Are the paycheck cuts for congress members? (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474390)

No, the Dems took that out of the bill. The year long tax holiday the Republicans passed included a cut to congressional pay.

On Slashdot? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474118)

Why was this even posted to /.??? If I wanted to read this I would go to CNN. Really???

What Twitter trending means (1)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474146)

I think it's worth mentioning that on twitter "trending" isn't just a measure of numbers. It's also a large part a measure of proportional increase. This means it's easier to get a trending topic on something that hasn't been talked about much before with a wierd hashtag.

This is a blog discussing how a tag for a gaming tournament became a trending topic.
http://latenightmarketing.com/gsl-trending-twitter-stats/ [latenightmarketing.com]

Every cent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38474148)

...borrowed from China.

$1.5 trillion deficit and we're arguing about more middle class tax breaks. This nation has a big fat expiration date.

Diet Coke syndrome (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474234)

What gets me steamed about budgets is huge debate on small stuff. Geez a $40 payroll tax cut? (which is really Social Security deduction people should get back later as it is an entitlement). All this debate over $40!?!?!? It is like they argue over NASA, NSF, NOAA, etc. budgets that don't amount to diddly. Meanwhile on big ticket items (DoD) is never debated. I'm going to mention Social Security as that is entitlement program separate from budgets that lead to deficits. SS has its own problems (will leave that for another thread).

It is the ***same*** mentality that people who want to lose weight so they have a Diet Coke along with a large meal. If ya want to lose weight you must either reduce intake, do more exercise, or both. A Diet Coke is only 0.05% of the big picture. Be a man and have a real coke.

Re:Diet Coke syndrome (2)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474652)

Maybe you should read some of the tweets that this article is about where people explain how $40 less will make a difference in their budgets.

No doubt there are other programs that need debating, but for a lot of people, this will make a difference in their day to day lives.

Dangerous joke (2)

amightywind (691887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474290)

Obama is a dangerous joke. The payroll tax cut further under funds Social Security. That's supposed to be your retirement folks. The program is already on death watch. So enjoy your pizza night, or buy your insulin, or any of the other sob stories you heard from democrat losers. When the end comes it will be more abrupt and painful.

NDAA (1)

Baby Duck (176251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474320)

Unfortunately, when the NDAA puts Americans into military detention indefinitely, they will not have internet access to twitter the impact of the negative consequences it has on their lives.

Stupid politics that WE pay for, as always. (1)

Lou57 (78812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474608)

Seems to me that every time we get a TEMPORARY tax cut, we end up paying for more boondoggles at each "renewal". A two month extension? Really? Why? I would be ELATED to see this AND the "Bush/Obama Tax Cuts" expire. At least no one in congress would be holding it over my head like a damned dog biscuit expecting me to sit nicely while they "craft" another renewal bill. I think I'll just bite someone.

Throw all incumbents out for the next 20 years!

$40/pay for 2 months ($160) (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474782)

Well, it covers one month of electric.

But how much will it cost companies to update their payroll deduction systems?

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