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Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:38 PM

Today, I will eat a Serving of Crow.

I have consistently opposed the "Temporary Payroll Tax Holiday",
a Republican scheme resurrected and championed by the Obama Administration in 2010.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/100253159

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x1538388

One of the many reasons I opposed it was that I believed that it would become permanent.
It now appears that the "Temporary Holiday" WILL be allowed to expire.
My prediction was wrong.

ALL of the other reasons I opposed this gambit are still functional.
The unnecessary and ill conceived "Temporary Payroll Tax Holiday" has done permanent damage to Social Security,
not the least of which is the blurring of the line between FICA Deductions and other taxes.
One needs look no further than the front page of DU to see the effects of the Blurring of Distinction
where FICA Contributions and Income Taxes are lumped together in the same sentence as though they are the same thing.
They are not.

The creators of the most successful New Deal Social Program,
and the Cornerstone of the Modern Democratic Party insisted on a separate and independent funding mechanism.
FICA deductions ARE the funding source for Medicare Social Security.
The FICA deductions are WHERE we pay our premiums for these "Entitlement Programs."
These deductions are NOT "taxes".

Much like calling the Inheritance Tax a "Death Tax", calling these mandatory Insurance Deductions a "Payroll Tax" is to adopt the Republican Framing.
Language IS powerful,
and I beseech ALL Democrats to confront and resist this Republican Framing.


The other reasons I opposed the reduction in FICA Contributions are still in effect.
Since the precedent has been set by The Democrats, I await the next Republican to call for "another Democrtic stimulus" by reducing FICA Deductions.

We shall see,
but today,
I WILL gladly Eat Crow, and rejoice over the expiration of the ill conceived "Payroll Tax Holiday".

Thank gawd it died.

---bvar22







You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.
Solidarity99!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

42 replies, 5288 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply Today, I will eat a Serving of Crow. (Original post)
bvar22 Jan 2013 OP
xchrom Jan 2013 #1
stevenleser Jan 2013 #2
Flatulo Jan 2013 #14
stevenleser Jan 2013 #15
Flatulo Jan 2013 #17
Ikonoklast Jan 2013 #19
drmeow Jan 2013 #20
Ikonoklast Jan 2013 #22
WCGreen Jan 2013 #3
Enrique Jan 2013 #4
JaneyVee Jan 2013 #5
leftstreet Jan 2013 #6
RomneyLies Jan 2013 #7
Doctor_J Jan 2013 #8
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #9
DonRedwood Jan 2013 #10
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #11
xtraxritical Jan 2013 #21
longship Jan 2013 #12
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #13
bvar22 Jan 2013 #30
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #31
bvar22 Jan 2013 #34
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #35
bvar22 Jan 2013 #36
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #37
bvar22 Jan 2013 #38
h2ebits Jan 2013 #16
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #18
Hekate Jan 2013 #23
obxhead Jan 2013 #24
grantcart Jan 2013 #25
BlueCaliDem Jan 2013 #26
reformist2 Jan 2013 #27
DaveJ Jan 2013 #28
Recursion Jan 2013 #29
bvar22 Jan 2013 #33
Bake Jan 2013 #39
bvar22 Jan 2013 #40
Bake Jan 2013 #41
bvar22 Jan 2013 #42
loudsue Jan 2013 #32

Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:41 PM

1. Du rec. Nt

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:43 PM

2. I'd rather bring back the holiday, and remove the cap. nt

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:39 PM

14. Removing, or at least greatly increasing the cap is a no-brainer, which I guess speaks volumes

about our congress.

I was fortunate enough to know the luxury of earning over 6 figures. It is an absolute shitload of money to make. Raising the cap will do zero harm to anyone making that kind of money, and I don't care where you live or how big your house is.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:42 PM

15. Yes, I did too in the late 1990s. I hit the cap two or three times. It was a shock the 1st time

I noted a significant increase in take home pay one pay period and when I asked about it I couldnt believe I was getting that break and not people making poverty wages.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:56 PM

17. I hit the cap my whole life, usually in August or September. I thought it was stupid then,

and I think it's just sheer idiocy now.

Only the most selfish pricks would begrudge a few extra bucks that they'll be getting back anyway at retirement.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:47 PM

19. Raise the cap, exempt the first 15K in wages.

Those that need it the most get a break, but we all get the first 15K exempted.

And S.S. will still have enough to remain solvent forever.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:53 PM

20. I'd take it one step further

Eliminate the cap completely.

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Response to drmeow (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:03 PM

22. I'd sell the lower exemption with an upper limit.

But it would be a faily high limit, say, ten million.

I'd have to run the numbers for a more exact limit.

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:44 PM

3. I got my ass kicked by some people when I made that

same distinction yesterday...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022110863

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:44 PM

4. I thought the same thing

about the tax cut never expiring.

I had the same concerns as you, but I thought that stimulus was so badly needed that I was ok with the cuts if they truly were temporary. We still badly need stimulus so I'm not crazy about them expiring, but at least the risk to entitlements is over.

Now, if we lose the tax cut AND entitlements are cut as well, then that is a pile of crap and I will be seriously pissed.

p.s. no crow eating is necessary if you honestly expressed your true concerns, which I'm confident you did. We need to get over this schoolyard taunting nonsense.

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:45 PM

6. You're not eating crow, just acknowledging your surprise

It's just as surprising that Democrats were for it to begin with

DURec

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:48 PM

7. Social Security didn't lose a penny in the trust fund over the Payroll Tax Holiday.

 

The issue comes that the money lost to the Payroll Tax Holiday came directly from the General Fund.

This allowed the Republicans to argue, and rightfully so, that Social Security was adding to the deficit problem, which it was.

Now, Social Security is once again severed from the General Fund and CANNOT be argued to add anything whatsoever to the deficit.

So I am with you, I am glad the tax holiday has expired.

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:51 PM

8. Kick, rec, share the crow

long may the "holiday" stay dead. Now to go after some permanent revenue enhancements from the hyper-rich job rationers.

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:10 PM

9. Well said. Thank you. nm

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:13 PM

10. DU has a way of serving us all a nice tasty crow at one time or other

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:16 PM

11. 'These deductions are NOT "taxes".' - Yes they are...

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/subtitle-C/chapter-21
a) Old-age, survivors, and disability insurance
In addition to other taxes, there is hereby imposed on the income of every individual a tax equal to the following percentages of the wages (as defined in section 3121 (a)) received by him with respect to employment (as defined in section 3121 (b))

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:55 PM

21. RepubliCONS always refer to it as "entitlement"; in a pejorative sense.

 

The don't like the Social Security designation. It goes back to Reagan and his "welfare queens".

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:31 PM

12. Informative post!

Well worth a DUrec.

Plus, this ain't crow. It should be all part of our rational process. If you change your position because you find out you were mistaken, that's a good thing.

It is what separates us from the Republicans.

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:39 PM

13. Yes, language is powerful.

And accuracy in language is important.

From m-w.com (Merriam-Webster online): tax: a charge usually of money imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.

Social security deductions fit the bill.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 08:40 PM

30. Thankfully, the Democratic founders of the most successful Social Program EVER in the USA...

...disagree with you.
That is WHY they insisted on a completely separate funding mechanism for this
Insurance Program, and purposely chose to NOT fund it from general Tax Collections.

You may have a point in a very broad sense,
and if you wish to continue to carry water for the Conservatives or Republicans,
so be it.

I will continue to advance the traditional Democratic Party Agenda
and protect Social Security & Medicare.
Since the funds collected through FICA have a narrow, dedicated, defined use,
and general non-specified "Public Purposes" are excluded,
FICA Deductions are NOT a "Tax", but an Insurance Premium.

Good Luck.


"There are forces within the Democratic Party who want us to sound like kinder, gentler Republicans.
I want a party that will STAND UP for Working Americans."
---Paul Wellstone


photo by bvar22
Shortly before Sen Wellstone was killed



You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.
Solidarity99!

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:46 PM

31. Oh, I get it.

You can't defend the program on its merits, so you make up your own definitions of words.

I agree with you that Social Security and Medicare need to be protected. I just don't agree that you need to distort language to do it. Nor do you need to call people names.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:39 PM

34. "can't defend the program on its merits"????

That doesn't make any sense at all.

Everything I have posted in this thread supports Social Security "on its merits".
It IS the most successful Social Program EVER in the USA...."on its own merits",
and a New Deal cornerstone of the Democratic Party,
one that helped build the largest, wealthiest, and most upwardly mobile Working Class the World has ever seen....
..."On Its Own Merits".

"distort language" ??? Where?
Please post a reference, an example, and a explanation that even a simpleton like me can understand. That used to be SOP at DU.

You posted a definition of a "Tax" upthread.
"From m-w.com (Merriam-Webster online): tax: a charge usually of money imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes."

The funds collected through the FICA Deductions are NOT used for "public purposes". That is strictly FORBIDDEN.
The ONLY legal use for the funds collected through FICA Deductions
is for Private Use Only by the individuals who Paid In
to the Program when that cash is returned to them at a later date,
backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The Government itself can not spend these funds. It MUST be returned to the individual citizens who are free to use it for whatever private purposes they wish.

So, by your OWN definition,
FICA deductions do NOT qualify as a "tax".

Social Security DOES lend this cash out TO the Government to be repaid with interest
backed by the full faith & credit of the United States, but the government can not spend money directly from Social Security like it can form taxes.


Social Security has always been hated by conservative Republicans who wish to steal these Trillions outright,
and by conservative "Democrats" who wish to give all that money to their friends on Wall Street.
Because I'm an old mainstream-Center FDR/LBJ Working Class Democrat,
I choose to NOT help either of these groups.


You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.
Solidarity99!

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 06:20 PM

35. You're right. I should have said

should have said "you *seem to feel* you can't defend Social Security on its merits. As I said upthread, I agree with you that the program has plenty of merits. But I can't imagine any other reason than feeling that Social Security needs defense that it doesn't deserve that you would take the position you seem to be taking.

Social security money is for private use only after it has been distributed to recipients. It is collected for the public purpose of creating a program to support America's disabled and retired. "For public purposes" doesn't have to mean "for whatever public purposes the government decides at any time, even if it was collected for one specific public purpose." So I agree, up to a point: The government cannot spend the funds just wherever they want. But of course government *has to* spend the funds in paying them out.

By "distort" I meant your insistence that Social Security taxes are not taxes. I thought the dictionary definition was enough. But if you want to see more, check out this page from the Social Security Administration. Even they refer to the payments into the system as "taxes."

Helping conservatives? The Constitution does authorizes government to collect taxes -- but not to impose mandatory insurance premiums -- unless, of course, those premiums are taxes. (I'm not trying to say those deductions are not premiums -- only that they are a tax.) If you insist that "FICA deductions do not qualify as a 'tax'" then you're setting yourself up to be told they are unauthorized. Because they would be. Why go there?

The idea that money paid in to Social Security is a tax is not an anti-Social Security idea, nor does it support conservative ideas. It's just language. Insisting on something that is not true can weaken your argument.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:10 PM

36. You have NO idea what I feel.

You have no clue what I think.
You have ONLY my words,
but I think I understand what you are trying to say.

The correct way to express what I think you are trying to say is to take responsibility for your opinion, like this:
"I prefer to defend Social Security on its own merits.
I believe that making a big deal out of the difference between a tax and a payroll deduction only weakens the case."


Is that it?
If so, you have a valid point.
I happen to disagree.

--bvar22

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #36)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:49 PM

37. I wasn't talking about what you feel.

Go back and read it.

I was talking about what you seem to feel, based on what you said, because otherwise I couldn't make sense out of it.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #37)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 11:28 AM

38. LOL..

Are you really this desperate?
"I wasn't talking about what you feel.
I was talking about what you seem to feel."


....really?

Do you work in the Fortune Teller's Tent at the Carnival?

You seem to feel that it is too scary to take responsibility for your own opinions, and seem to think that it is easier to hide if you mask your own opinions in speculation about what someone else might be feeling.




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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:53 PM

16. I agree

I tried to say something similar when the cut to FICA payments was created and I was shredded by a number of DU occupants.
Thanks for speaking up.

As with some of the other comments, I think that we still need the stimulus in the paychecks but I'm glad to see it go. I was genuinely distressed thinking that it was the first step in the process to dismantle SS and Medicare.

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:20 PM

18. Kick, but I always think we're going to win these things!

Unfortunately, it's rare that we do......

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:06 PM

23. KnR, bvar

:kick:

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:15 PM

24. I'll have serving of that crow as well.

I said the same thing, this temporary cut will become permanent and that it was the opening salvo on the war to actually end SS.

I also feel irreparable damage has been caused to SS with the temporary cut.

Thankfully it was allowed to expire with no extensions.

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:24 PM

25. recommended, for your humility, not for you having to eat crow.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:34 PM

26. I second that motion. eom

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:37 PM

27. I'm glad Dems still had the guts to let it expire. It was lethal to the long-term survival of SS.


It actually will have a depressing effect on the economy in the short run (something nobody on either side wants to talk about), but it's worth the price.

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:43 PM

28. I honestly can't say I'm happy about it.

That 2% of our income could have gone toward our retirement, or getting our old house back into shape. We are behind in both those areas and have been struggling to keep up. We never hire people to do repairs, we do them all ourselves. My job stopped giving raises a few years ago and probably won't be giving them again anytime soon. I've been seeing the price of everything go up while my pay just stays the same.

But, I'm less upset about it, since it's going to help seniors. I just hope that if I ever get to retire, SS will be something meaningful, in proportion to what we put in.


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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 07:46 PM

29. FICA deductions are a way to hide the regressivity of the tax code

Personally I say kill them; if we want a regressive tax to fund social insurance do it the way most European countries do, with a VAT.

But, yeah, in the context of having FICA separate, I agree that the cut was ill-advised.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:28 PM

33. They ARE regressive only when viewed through the Republican lens as a "Tax".

When seen through the Democratic Lens as an Insurance Payment, or Insurance Payroll Deduction, that will be returned in CASH to the individual at a later date....then not so much.

That is one reason I strongly encourage Every DEMOCRAT to stop referring to FICA Deductions as a "Payroll Tax".

That said, I strongly support exempting the first $30K or so,
and removing The Cap all together.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:34 PM

39. It is NOT an insurance premium.

An insurance premium is a CONTRACTUAL payment you make in exchange for certain SPECIFIED BENEFITS which the insurer is contractually obligated to pay.

Our Soc Sec benefits can be changed at the whim of Congress, or even eliminated altogether. If your insurance carrier tried that, you could sue for breach of contract. Try doing that with Congress, and good luck.

FICA is NOT an insurance premium.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 04:55 PM

40. Insurance Carriers "interpret" their contracts every single day.

..and keep teams of lawyers on the payroll for that specific purpose.


I see you have never been in a battle with your Insurance Company,
OR
had you Premium raised without notice,
OR
had you benefits reduced,
OR
had coverage denied (on a loophole)
OR
been buried with "hidden costs" after filing a claim.


While I DO agree that Social Security is not a pure "Insurance Program",
neither is it a pure "tax", and shouldn't be lumped in with other taxes.
The FICA Deductions ARE closer to an Insurance Premium that to a tax.

The government IS under "contractual obligations" in how they handle our FICA contributions. ALL of it, with interest, must be returned to us (The American People)...in CASH at a future date.
Now YOU try THAT with your Insurance Company.
Good Luck.

It helps Social Security, and those Democrats who still support Social Security,
to emphasize this distinction.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #40)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 07:39 PM

41. I"m a lawyer. I deal with insurance companies all the time.

If the insurer denies a benefit, you may be able to sue them for bad faith. If they breach the contract, you can sue for breach of contract. You can't do that with the govt.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #41)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:58 AM

42. ......a lawyer who is blinded by the minutia on this topic.

Of Course Social Security is not exactly an Insurance Premium.

Another big difference, FICA does not have the word "Insurance" or "Premium" in the title.
There are other differences too.

FICA deductions are also NOT exactly like a TAX either,
and because of these differences, FICA should NOT be lumped in with all the other taxes,
either by name, or in Internet discussions, or in conversations with friends and neighbors,
and THAT is the point of this thread.

Are you willing to admit that there are differences between FICA and taxes?
Emphasizing the difference between FICA and Taxes will make FICA and Social Security stronger,
and advance the Democratic agenda.


Again....just the opinion of an old, mainstream-center FDR/LBJ Working Class Democrat
--bvar22

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Response to bvar22 (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:22 PM

32. Totally agree with your post.

And I didn't think they'd reverse it either. It was a bum rap.

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