Friday, December 17, 2010

Taboo subject

I don't write about politics here very often. My good friends know that I fit in very well in Vermont - a liberal hippie type in a liberal hippie type of state. Despite the fact that I work for a venture funded start-up software company, I have managed to stay employed so far in the economic downturn. And, I make a pretty decent salary as the IT Director of my small company.

I hope I have the right understanding of the bill in my analysis below.

In exchange for an $800 dollar tax credit that is now gone, my wife and I will save even more than that in reduced social security payments. A lot more.

Individuals who are employed but make less than $20K per year will see their total tax liability increase, as they lose the $400 credit and save less than that in reduced social security taxes. The same applies to couples who make less than $800.

I live in one of the poorer counties in VT. The median household income here is about $48K. People who make that much probably struggle to even own a house here. That median household will save about $160 in taxes this coming year. I'll save over ten times that much.

Yes, I'm happy that unemployment benefits will be extended for those that need them. Those benefits are urgently needed by some people who simply can't find work. VT has a much lower unemployment rate than the national rate, and I'm sure that the extended benefits will have a bigger impact in places other than here. But, people without jobs need that lifeline. I'm certainly not one of those people who believes that unemployment benefits are a disincentive to working. They aren't that much money and I think that most people collecting them would truly prefer to be working.

But, how in the world did Congress and the President come up with something that hurts the employed poor (and I assume this hurts people on Social Security as well), and give me an even bigger tax cut.

I can certainly donate the money to people who will get hurt by this change, potentially including some family members. But, I'm tempted to save the money and donate it to the first liberal who announces a primary challenge against Obama. Obama may as well just change parties, because he is certainly a Democrat in name only.

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