If you work, then you likely saw your taxes go up this year despite all of the “fiscal cliff saving” legislation that you heard so much about. Why? Because you Social Security withholding increased from around 4% to around 6%. Everywhere I go, I've heard people grumbling. I've heard Republicans and Democrats alike calling for the president’s head for breaking his promise not to increase taxes. The short-term memory of Americans, on the whole, is a disgrace to those of us that are paying attention. Barack Obama is not to blame for your taxes going up.
On December 17, 2010, the IRS issued a press release stating that Social Security tax rates would be decreased by approximately 2 percentage points, as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. In late 2011, because the recovery was not going as well as hoped, the decrease was reconfirmed.
In a particularly glaring display of America's fickle affections, the editorial staff for the Sun Journal in Lewiston, Maine, published a piece in 2011 admonishing the extension of the decrease as hastening the end of the Social Security program.
“Politicians say they are committed to preserving Social Security, then they turn around and vote to deprive the program of funding,” wrote the author of both pieces, Rex Rhoades. Then, almost exactly a year later, Mr. Rhoades penned this piece of literary sleight-of-hand titled, “The tax hike that nobody is talking about.” In it, Rhoades scoffs at the White House’s official statement regarding the tax break as being secretive in order to keep from offending voters.
He may have a point, but the fact is, in light of the piece he had written just a year earlier, shouldn't he be praising the White House for eliminating the tax break?
We got an extra break from the president for two years. In the meantime, Social Security benefits continued to increase annually, and the money going into the fund was smaller than normal. Folks, regardless of whether you believe in the system of Social Security or not, some people depend upon it, and we enjoyed a few hundred bucks a year at the expense of millions in funding.
To be upset that the 2% was taken back in 2013 is insanely shortsighted. The bottom line is this: If you want to make a difference in how much of your hard-earned dollars you get to keep, then you need to implement turnover at all levels of government. That starts with city council elections and runs all the way up to Congress and the president.
Until you, the American voter, can wake up and vote with intelligence, you have no one to blame for taxes except yourself — and that includes leaving Barack Obama out of the blame game.