A funny coincidence

So Friday I took some spare time and went over my estimated tax payments. I’ve suspected based on last year’s taxes and my gut instinct that post-marriage I haven’t been handling them properly (correct: I should be taking TYG’s income and withholding into account as we file a joint return).
The depressing part: I think I may have to pay as much as 30 percent, due to the combination of state tax, income tax and Self-Employment Tax—the 15 percent tax that covers my employee and employer payments into Social Security (I won’t know for sure until I go over my taxes in detail next month, before the next estimated payment). That’s well above what I’ve been budgeting.
Okay, fine. I have a wife who makes a good living, so it’s not surprising our joint tax bracket is higher. And I know the Self-Employment Tax helps pay for Social Security and Medicare and I’m going to need them eventually.
But the trouble with that is, the Republicans want me to pay the tax and not get the benefits.
As Ezra Klein reports, the Republicans, while demanding every sort of tax cut that will benefit Mitt Romney (and everyone at his income level), oppose extending cuts in the payroll tax. Which would be fine, again, if they were doing it to shore up the programs … but they’re not.
Putting Paul Ryan in the veep spot (the funny coincidence I was mentioning) confirms it. Ryan wants heavy cuts to Medicare and also favors raising the Social Security retirement age, cutting Social Security benefits and reducing cost-of-living increases.
So apparently they want me and everyone else to keep paying the tax because it will cover all the juicy tax cuts Ryan wants to enact for the rich.
The Washington media (who as I’ve noted before have embraced the idea we can only survive if someone other than them sacrifices), portray Ryan as a centrist deficit hawk, but as Lawyers Guns and Money and Charles Pierce show, he’s just a really extreme right-winger. And far from being a courageous budget-slasher, he’s completely vague about what tax loopholes or services he’ll eliminate—but as budget chair in the House, he’s already fighting to block any cuts to defense. So if he gets his way we’ll wind up with social services slashed, but taxes cut enough that the deficit still grows, as it did under W.
Of course, Obama and the Democrats have been lackluster in fighting for Social Security but at least they don’t seem to hate it like Ryan and Romney do. So I know who I’m voting for—and it’s not (in Charles Pierce’s words) the “zombie eyed granny starver.”
Bonus: Glenn Greenwald on reporters’ obsession with finding out who Romney was going to pick.

1 Comment

Filed under economics, Politics

One response to “A funny coincidence

  1. Pingback: Nearer my links to me | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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