How does one be political without getting into personal politics? Easy, let's talk something simple - that everyone should agree on. Tax cuts. Sure, not everyone "needs" them to survive but most economists think that while the tax cuts won't necessarily be an "efffective stimulus", passing them will prevent a worsening of the economy. Possibly, according to Moody's, the economy could see modest gains from the cuts being extended.
One of the biggest arguments on extending some of the cuts is "deficit". Funny, because lots of other bills pass regardless of their impact on the deficit, but now it seems the Congress suddenly cares about the deficit. The problem with the "deficit" argument is that it's complete smoke and mirrors. If the federal government truly felt lack of tax revenue was that large of an issue, wouldn't they go after the 350 billion dollars in tax evasion? (and that's per year!) Or how about the illegal immigration issue? Or what about more limitations on the credits that pay people for having children? Personally, I think there should be serious limitations on who can and who should receive those credits and how much.
Since the deficit "factor" has now been debunked, lets focus on why this extension is important to you and me. I have no dependents (my son is claimed on his father's taxes because he is the one who purchased the health insurance) and my husband and I are "middle class" according to the federal government. Of course, living in the DC area ensures that our dollar doesn't go very far. Not to mention everything from tires, gas, food, and clothing is costing our family more money this year. While we can still stash away $50-$100 of each paycheck without negatively impacting our expenditures, that is down from $250 a year ago. Next year, should the cuts not pass, we will be paying $150 more each paycheck. Leaving us with the choice to either drastically cut expenditures in food and clothing or stash away nothing into savings while one of us rides a bus to work. Will all families be able to make the adjustment at all?
Politics seems to consume more and more of people's lives. I challenged bloggers to drop the D-R-I political battles for one moment to use their differing yet collective voices to shout for tax cuts. Let's take a break from our personal politics and become economists. Because eventually, all of us will feel the wrath of an ugly recession if nothing stops the plague of unemployment.
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