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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:54 AM

Does anyone know how much the expiration of the payroll

tax will reduce the deficit?

21 replies, 1312 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Does anyone know how much the expiration of the payroll (Original post)
doc03 Jan 2013 OP
s-cubed Jan 2013 #1
Recursion Jan 2013 #19
Zen Democrat Jan 2013 #2
Harmony Blue Jan 2013 #3
Recursion Jan 2013 #21
Enrique Jan 2013 #4
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2013 #5
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #13
doc03 Jan 2013 #18
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #6
ProSense Jan 2013 #7
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #8
subterranean Jan 2013 #9
Recursion Jan 2013 #20
Igel Jan 2013 #10
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #14
doc03 Jan 2013 #15
dsc Jan 2013 #11
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #12
doc03 Jan 2013 #16
Yo_Mama Jan 2013 #17

Response to doc03 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:03 PM

1. Won't affect it. SS tax. nt

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Response to s-cubed (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 08:04 PM

19. Well, but it prevents the $50 Bn transfer from the general fund we've been making

So, roughly half a trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade.

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Response to doc03 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:03 PM

2. It puts the withdrawals back in the SS and Medicare programs.

Without those withholdings, the social programs really would be bankrupt. We got the extra bucks on a temp basis and many Democrats were upset about stealing from SS. Now we're back to normal, or the new normal.

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Response to doc03 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:03 PM

3. Social security has nothing to do with the deficit

but the expiration of the payroll holiday will replenish Social security somewhat.

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Response to Harmony Blue (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 08:07 PM

21. Meh. The Treasury is a single cash flow, intragovernmental shenanigans aside

I mean, the SS payments still come out of the treasury, and FICA levies still go into it, so even a fully funded program can reduce the total deficit by increasing revenues or cutting payouts.

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Response to doc03 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:05 PM

4. the cost of the tax cut was $120 billion n/t

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Response to doc03 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:16 PM

5. Zero is the short answer. And that was the Payroll Tax Holiday.

For a family making 50 K a year, they will see about $20.00 a week less, according to NPR.

That will be returned to Social Security Trust Fund, so to speak. The U.S. General find, from what I understand, borrows the excess money not used to pay benefits and replaces it with bonds.

But the deficit is not affected because the U.S. doesn't borrow money to pay Social Security benefits.

National Defense spending, Medicare (as I understand it), and many other programs, contribute to the deficit.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:33 PM

13. The US does borrow money to pay for SS and the deficit will be affected

Aside from the payroll tax cut, SS is currently running a small deficit each year (benefits plus cost > payroll tax receipts plus tax on benefits).

The payroll tax cut made that small deficit a large deficit. Both the small deficit and the larger deficit have to be paid for by the general fund, so indeed we have been borrowing to cover them. Last year's SS added over 150 billion to the money we had to borrow.

The restoration of the payroll tax rate will cut the SS deficit that must be paid for by the general fund to a low level - estimated less than 50 billion a year, but that gets larger until it it's projected to be pretty high each year in a decade or two.

The reason why SS went into deficit so much earlier than planned was high unemployment and crappy wages.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 08:03 PM

18. You say "The US does borrow money to pay for SS

and the deficit will be affected. Aside from the payroll tax cut, SS is currently running a small deficit each year (benefits plus cost>payroll tax receipts plus tax on benefits)." That is not really true the way I understand it. Yes costs are higher than receipts but the money is coming from the "SS Trust Fund". The reason it contributes to the deficit the government spent the "SS Trust Fund" and so since it is no longer there they have to borrow the money. They took our money through payroll taxes to pay for SS then spent it elsewhere, so now instead of paying back (the US Citizens) our principle plus interest like all the other creditors they want us to pay back the principle and interest ourselves by cutting SS.

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Response to doc03 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:29 PM

6. It will amount to about $115 billion in additional revenue in 2013...

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:32 PM

7. It's not additional revenue. It goes to the Social Security Trust Fund. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:44 PM

8. Which then goes into the general fund of the Treasury in exchange for Special Issue Securities

issued to the trust fund.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:45 PM

9. More accurately, it'll amount to a $115 billion reduction in spending.

That's because the general fund was used to make up the shortfall created by the payroll tax holiday.

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Response to subterranean (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 08:05 PM

20. ^ This. We don't have to transfer $ from the general fund this year like we have been

And that will, in fact, reduce the deficit.

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Response to doc03 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:54 PM

10. Upthread comments are confusing.

It increases revenue by $110 to 120 billion. That's revenue not collected now, so it's not like there's no change to total revenues.

The increased revenue goes to the SSA, not to the general fund. If FICA runs a surprlus, then the surplus goes to the general fund in exchange for the SSA's receipt of special issue securities. That's deficit neutral--it's intragovernmental borrowing and doesn't increase the deficit or decrease the deficit. It just alters cash flow. The the SSA ran a deficit in 2012 because revenues didn't cover expenses, so the SSA pulled money out of the trust fund. If the SSA ran a surplus in 2012 it was small, so most if not all of the increased revenue in 2013 will be spent on SS benefits in 2013.

However, when the FICA tax was reduced, the reduction was "bought out" by general revenue funds. In other words, the FICA tax holiday increased the deficit by the amount of the FICA tax reduction. Now that the FICA tax is reinstated, the general fund doesn't have to pay the SSA for the amount of the FICA tax reduction. That's one less expense and the deficit will decrease in 2013 from what it would have been. By precisely the amount that the reinstated FICA tax collects.

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Response to Igel (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:34 PM

14. That is an excellent explanation. n/t

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Response to Igel (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:23 PM

15. Thanks that explains it. That is the way I understood it was also. So the payroll tax cut

was paid out of the general fund and since we are in deficit the money was barrowed. So this year since we are paying the full FICA
tax it does actually reduce the deficit by $115-120 billion. To read some of the posts here on DU that money just fell from a tree.
I saw some posts the last couple days that thought it should be permanent.
I thought it was abad idea from the get go because the Rs could tie SS with the deficit.

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Response to doc03 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:16 PM

11. If you want to be technical

it will reduce spending by about $120 billion. The way it worked was that the $120 billion that wasn't collected in SS taxes was spent by the general fund to build up the SS fund.

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Response to doc03 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:23 PM

12. This year, about 117-120 billion

It's close to double the amount raised by the higher-income bracket tax increase - but that's because it's 2% on all wages in the country up to $113,700.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:25 PM

16. Neither one of them is a tax increase it is going back to where they were before the TEMPORARY

cuts.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:44 PM

17. People are paying more than they did last year?

I'd call that a tax increase, but whatever floats your boat. It was always supposed to be temporary. It did add to the deficit. It won't be adding to the deficit any more.

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