It pays for your Social Security (theoretically). A year ago you were doing OK with the contribution then the Messiah sent you a half a loaf of stale bread for the coming year. To stimulate your extravagant spending he offered you a ONE YEAR reduction of 2% in the payroll tax withholding. For most folks it was virtually unnoticeable. Typically it came to about $20 a week. Hardly a spending spree. For some it got offset by rises in Medicare premiums. My monthly actually dropped by the frightening amount of $2.50.
Now the one year is up and the Bamster squeals. This is tragic. We must extend it again and keep the huge spending wave going forward and the recovery surging...or whatever. So he asks for a year extension, his Democratic controlled Senate gives him two months and the House balks in favor of his desired one year reprieve but they become the bad guys.
How bad is this? Well the White House is collecting sob stories for the media:
No Pizza! No Trip to Grandma's!
But there is one thing that confuses me in this.
If this one year pittance not being extended is so punitive, how is that different than the Bush-era tax cuts that have been in place for eleven years now? They put much more cash in the consumer's hand, they've been in place for a decade, and the economy flourished despite the tragic beginning of the period with 9/11. Only as the clock ran down and the uncertainty of the future began to loom did we see a down-turn and that was linked quite closely to the housing collapse.
Bush tax cuts bad. Bamster chump change good. Seems like simply a matter of scale here.