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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Will Congress adjourn without extending payroll tax and unemployment compensation?


Pres. Obama, Speaker Boehner
While the two houses bicker over how to pay for the tax cuts with one relentless on not raising taxes, millions of Americans cannot enjoy their holidays with the thought that 2012 will only bring more financial problems.  The payroll tax cut covers 160 million Americans, and the extended unemployment compensation 6 million.  The former could cut at least $1,000 from the average paycheck next year and the latter would eliminate $300 from average monthly unemployment benefits.

If Congress takes no action, this will cancel some $165 billion from the economy in 2012.  All because we have a band of dysfunctional legislative morons in Washington.  And folks we put them there but we can remove them in 2012.  And there is an additional issue of heading off the scheduled cut in Medicare payments to doctors next year, something that could affect future medical care to seniors.

According to CNN Money, the Democrats want a tax on millionaires producing $155 billion over 10 years.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charging mortgage lenders more; estimated revenue $38 billion.  Ban millionaires from receiving unemployment benefits and food stamps saving $127 billion over ten years.

Republicans would limit pay and the size of the federal workforce plus a 3-year extension on the current 2-year freeze on pay for civilian employees and members of Congress.  This would save $222 billion over 10 years.  Also they would only extend the pay freeze for another year, saving $26 billion over 10 years.  Changing the rules for retirement for federal civilian retirees would save $37 billion over 10 years.  Charge millionaires more for Medicare saving $9.2 billion over 10 years.  And increase premiums on high income households by 15 percent saving $31 billion over 10 years.



There is more but the above is the substance of where the left and the right are coming from.  The Dems concentrating on the inequities of wealth in the private and corporate sectors for revenue.  The GOP placing the burden on the backs of the middle class federal workforce, except for concessions on congressional pay raises and Medicare payments for the rich that are already blatantly obvious.

Republicans in Congress are daring Democrats to scuttle their bill that they claim comes to the aid of the middle class.  Eric Cantor (R) Virginia, bases this on tax cuts and job creation he claims is built into the GOP legislation.  It is all but certain the bill will fail in the Democrat controlled Senate.

So back to the original question.  Will this inept body be able to salvage the future of the American working public or will they go home for Christmas each laying the blame on the other side?  If this happens, they will have to face the voter’s Grinch in 2012.

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