Up for Debate: Payroll tax cut deal

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 12:57am

What is your first take on reports that Congress has reached a tentative deal to extend unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut while possibly avoiding fee cuts for Medicare doctors?


Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

101 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 2/15/12 at 5:46

If the USA can spend over a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, "Freeing the Iraqi people", chasing the Taliban, all the while bin Laden is in a secured palace in Pakistan for 6 years in plain sight, we can spend $100. billion helping 50 million or so, Americans.

By: govskeptic on 2/15/12 at 6:12

"Payroll tax cut" is really "social security tax cut" but for some reason the
press, administration, nor neither party leaders call it that! Dollars that
are suppose to be going into the SS Trust fund being used to offset the
cost of another extended period of Unemployment checks sounds like
one of the worst shell games ever.! Seniors and soon to be seniors
should be outraged at both parties over this now 3 yr. old budget con !

By: Loner on 2/15/12 at 6:13

Good morning, Nashville.

The Bush tax cuts law is a zombie....you just can't kill the bloody, rotten thing...it stinks, it's killing us, it's out of control....but the monster has powerful allies...it's here to stay.

We need to cut entitlements, defense spending and pork while simultaneously raising taxes across the board....no politician on earth would back that plan...yet it is the only way to save the republic in the long run.

One more major holy war and the US dollar will be like the peso....artsy, but nearly worthless....but once Jesus returns and the End Times slaughter begins, nobody will care about the value of the dollar...that's what Rick Santorum is banking on...the 2nd Coming....and the Rapture.

By: gdiafante on 2/15/12 at 6:34

We need to cut entitlements, defense spending and pork while simultaneously raising taxes across the board....no politician on earth would back that plan...yet it is the only way to save the republic in the long run.

I agree. But, in this scenario, all Americans would have to have an equal sacrifice, and we know that won't happen. Everyone seems to know what the problem is, who to blame for it and how to solve it, but, it never seems to involve them.

By: Loner on 2/15/12 at 6:44

Agreed, GD...the solution is a no-brainer...we just lack the collective will to actually sacrifice...from the top of the 1% pile to the summit of the 99% mountain....these days, America seems to lack grit and gumption, we have plenty of greed and gluttony however....immediate gratification of need is the norm.

By: dargent7 on 2/15/12 at 7:00

gD: Why'd you come back? Get out of rehab or is this punishment part of your court ordered community service?

By: dargent7 on 2/15/12 at 7:02

Off Topic: Santorum now wants Secret Service protection, like Romney. Feels slighted and the OWS people hurt his feelings last night.
If he wins Michigan, Romney better seriously worry.

By: gdiafante on 2/15/12 at 7:03

Boredom. It's only for a few days while I have some free time.

By: dargent7 on 2/15/12 at 7:31

Boredom? Isn't that new dancer at Pure Platinum? I heard she can cure it.

By: Loner on 2/15/12 at 7:41

Yeah, Darge, if Romney loses MI, he will have stepped on one of the banana peels of politics...he could fall flat on his political ass...or do a political face plant....and he's got such a pretty face.

Senator Santorum's Sanctimonious and Saintly ego is like a huge latex balloon...he's getting pumped up...his ego swells like a pubescent penis in a porn shop...the Catholic Bishops are mobilizing for Santorum...and the Protestants are lining up behind Katholic Ken...the would-be Rapture-Seeking Commander-in-Chief.

The Muslims and the Jews are intently watching this theocratic spectacle....holy wars suck.

We are in the midst of the Great Theocratic Wars of the 20th and 21st century, future historians my record Santorum's sudden rise to power as some sort of tipping point in America...we shall see.

And his super-Pac, the Red, White & Blue Fund, is taking in money like a Las Vegas casino on a Saturday night. American Catholics are pretty well-off generally, their deep pockets will bankroll the Papist theocrat....it's all legal now....the Vatican could throw in a few million?

If the Israel lobby backs Santorum in November, Obama will be ousted from power....Obama pressured the Israelis...that was his "banana peel".

By: Loner on 2/15/12 at 7:45

Boredom = bore + dom....like drilling a dominatrix?

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 8:02

It's just another attempt to make our tax system even more progressive. With the payroll tax cut institutionalized it will never go back up again and when the Bush Tax cuts expire they will undoubtedly institute a stop-gap there to make sure taxes are not increased on the 'poor'. I'd rather go back to the Clinton rates personally because at least then the majority of workers in this country would have some skin in the game.

The premise that we should increasingly let an inefficient, often corrupt and politically motivated bureaucracy manage the resource of society to the tune of almost 30% of GDP now is ludicrous and as long as we have this non-value-added divide and conquer mentality of Rich v. Poor we will remain mired in the morass of political expedience and graft.

Make it a flat % of income with a basic standard deduction for necessities (adjusted to local cost of living) and be done with it. When politicians do something stupid everyone should be equally p*ssed off at them.

By: jvh2b on 2/15/12 at 8:03

Morning gang!

I just wanted to take the time to thank most all of you for being decent human beings. For some reason I feel compelled to post on the Tennessean's site on occasion, and never cease to be amazed at the sheer stupidity of the posters on there.

We disagree on here and all, but at least it doesn't (generally) come down to name calling. Heck even when presented w/ evidence to show we were wrong we at least agree or change subjects...this one jackhole over there just continues to call me names then say I'm the one being childish. yargh.

But anywho...sorry for the rant...just needed to get that off my chest...and thanks guys =)

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 8:06

Yeah... they said all the same stuff about Reagan that they are saying about Santorum now (though your rant is exceptionally vivid and colorful there loner). A pendulum swing to the Santorum only seems radical in comparison to Chicago Thugocrat in Chief we are suffering now.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 8:09

Oh stop being such a baby, jvh2b... lol.

On a serious note I do like that a modicum of civility has always been in the tone and culture of this site.

By: jvh2b on 2/15/12 at 8:15

I know right Ben! lol

I'm quite thankful to have this refuge on here.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 8:32

The new Santorum ad in Michigan is great.


By: jvh2b on 2/15/12 at 8:38

And PS...I'm moving to Canada is somehow Santorum wins. I'm not claiming Obama is the best, but dear God he's MILES better than that psychopath.

By: gdiafante on 2/15/12 at 8:38

Actually, it's pretty stupid. That's why I expect Santorum's followers to eat it up.

By: gdiafante on 2/15/12 at 8:40

jvh, at this point, the election is Obama's to lose. The GOP candidates are pathetic, to say the least.

However, the Dems have a solid history of snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory, so who knows.

By: gdiafante on 2/15/12 at 8:47

I hate to tell you Ben, but there is an income inequality in this nation. Facts are facts. Anyone in the middle class, or what used to be the middle class, can attest to this.

You may have a distaste for class warfare, but like racism, it's lurking below the surface. It's only a matter of time before it completely explodes. You can't have a majority of citizens continually get screwed (pick the perpetrator: government, Wall Street, etc) without some retaliation.

I think the Tea nuts and OWS were the beginning rumblings...

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 9:07

So you advocate taking one person's earnings at gunpoint and giving it to another person irregardless of any measure of merit other than one person has and another does not?

By: gdiafante on 2/15/12 at 9:11

I must have missed the part where weapons were involved. No wonder you loved the Santorum ad.

By: gdiafante on 2/15/12 at 9:12

And, thank you for proving my point.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 9:17

Well what happens if I refuse to cede my earnings, gd? A man shows up at my door with a gun.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 9:19

The question though is do you support indiscriminate wealth redistribution with no regard for merit?

By: yogiman on 2/15/12 at 9:31

Well, much is being posted about Obama today and I hate to tell you Obama lovers; I've received the court issues in the Georgia case on Jan. 26 and it ain't pretty for Barry Soetoro.

By: Loner on 2/15/12 at 9:35

Ben wrote: "Yeah... they said all the same stuff about Reagan that they are saying about Santorum now (though your rant is exceptionally vivid and colorful there loner)..."

Why thank you, Benjamin Dover....glad you appreciated the colors and texture....I like to work the wet into the dry...being careful to preserve the highlights and render the shadows convincingly.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 9:37

Well Yogi... he ain't gonna win GA anyway so all it will do is stir up a whole lot of racism and disenfranchisement charges. Do you have a case in a blue state or a battle ground state that would actually make a difference for this cost of throwing the country into race riots and political anarchy?

By: dargent7 on 2/15/12 at 9:40

As Obama overtook Hillary and won the nomination, Santorum can overtake Romney and his minons, I mean, millions.
Gingrich is an embarrassment. He's becoming like Ralph Nader or Ross Perot.
Just siphon votes off from the Republican front runner.
If Romney loses Mich., he loses the nomination.
re: Al Gore lost Tenn., he lost the whole election.
With Presidential elections, it's very personal.

By: Loner on 2/15/12 at 9:43

"Other people's money", as a euphemism for tax monies, is inaccurate...we Americans, rich and poor, all pay taxes in one form or another, ergo tax revenues are "our money", not "other people's money".

The right-wing nuts would have us believe that some folks are getting away with paying nothing in US taxation, but are milking the system dishonestly...the only folks who routinely do that are the Israelis....they get 3 billion in US aid plus billions in loan guarantees etc. but they pay zip in US taxation...the Israelis, not the Americans are using "other people's money"...but nobody dares to point this out...it would be considered "anti-Semitic" to complain about that.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 9:46

Ii think we may be on our way to a brokered convention. Santorum was the only one left who I thought would back out and with him on the climb that ain't gonna happen. It'll be tough to pull out a majority with the vote split 4 ways. (actually 3 ways; the Romney vote, the conservative vote, and the nut vote).

So Jeb and Condi might have a shot at it yet.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 9:49

What's wrong with a flat % of income allowing for a simple standard deduction indexed to cost of living, Loner?

I'd think you'd like the amount of liberty that would allow getting the government out of the rectal examination and economic bubble creation business.

By: Loner on 2/15/12 at 9:53

Sounds good on paper, Ben...what about capital gains?

Every good idea and reform is soon defeated by human nature...folks would quickly find a way to cheat the system...safeguards would have to be built in, IMO.

By: Loner on 2/15/12 at 9:58

Jeb & Condi?? I did a spit take on that one, Ben...gotta wipe the monitor screen.

You are a glutton for punishment, Ben....more neocon adventurism, tax revenue reductions, spending increases and dangerous de-regulation.....nah, I do not think so....Americans are dumb, but not that dumb...but then again, Jr. Bush got that second term....the masses tend to be asses....Jeb and Condi - could be a landslide victory for insanity.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 10:00

The problem with our current system is that too much social engineering is built into it. Some see that as a plus... I see it as a great minus.

I think cap gains and corporate income tax should be around 20%... somewhere just under the world standard for industrialized nations.

By: yogiman on 2/15/12 at 10:02

The race factor was supposed to have been eliminated almost half a century ago, BenDover. And to say it is being a racist not to elect a black person is like calling a dog a cat. They're animals, but they're of different breeds.

I say anyone who would vote for someone simply because of their race can only be a damn fool. I call anyone a racist if they vote for someone simply because of their skin color. Hell, aren't you a racist if you vote for someone simply because they're white? Racism in the USA needs to be flushed down the toilet.

Barry the boy's main factor was, and is, he was not legally eligible to run for that office. A picture from Columbia University in the file I received shows [Barack Obama] with the name Barry Soetoro as a Foreign Student.

By: pswindle on 2/15/12 at 10:02

Will we ever get rid of the Bush influence. His tax cuts has caused so much heartache for most. He spent our surplus that Clinton/Gore left, started two wars, with Chaney pushing, he favorited the oil companies and let the Middle Class go down the tubes. This is just a few of his in the destroying of America. But what would you expect from a dry-drunk? I'm not so sure about the dry part toward the end of his presidency. He hid from the public as much as he could.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 10:09

I can understand you feeling that way Loner as you believe the grand myth that it was conservative policy that caused the collapse rather than liberal policies of the CRA, plus an implicit taxpayer guarantee of sub-prime backed securities by Fannie and Freddie; and additionally the election of our first European socialist president who was promising to bankrupt the coal industry and double capital gains taxes out of 'fairness'.

We see the reason for the down-turn differently as we see differently the reason for its persistence in an administration that insists on deficit spending $1,000,000,000,000+ over trend as well as its respending the half trillion dollars in TARP repayments that should have restored us back to even keel in the first year of Obama's administration.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 10:13

Yogi, you take Obama off the ballot in GA an they'll set Atlanta on fire quicker than Sherman's boys armed with Bic lighters and a cases of hairspray.

By: govskeptic on 2/15/12 at 10:21

I knew it was the Jews all along that were the problem. Do they pay income
tax on the true "net" on all those diamonds sold? And do the Arabs pay on
the "Net" of the rugs peddled? America wants to know!

By: Ask01 on 2/15/12 at 10:23

I believe most money left in the pockets of the working class, particulalry at the lower end of the economic scale, will be fed into the economy as most, living from payday to payday, or trying to pay down debt incurred before the economy soured will spend the 'windfall.' Actually, windfall is far too generous an expression. A summer zephyr is more appropriately descriptive and slightly more poetic. Sadly most of these funds will soon find its way back into the coffers of the rich and corporate America.

I am fairly unpopular for my stand on taxes. I favor a flat tax rate. Employers already send the government their share of the loot, so that works as a collection method. We need to set a minimum level at which tax collection begins, which needs to be adjusted as wages fluctuate. Establish a standard deduction based on a married couple, figure the deduction for two kids, and cost of living. This means according to my southern public high school math skills every worker earning over X% pays X% of that income. Period. End of story. If you stay single, and childless, you win, in a way. If you get married and have two kids, you're still in the game. Have more than two kids, pay for them yourself. That is it. Donations to religious organizations or charity? No. One should give from the heart for personal satisfaction, not monetary reward.

The same could apply to any interest bearing account, stocks, bond, whatever. If you earn interest, financial institutions should be able to easily add a line of programming to divert X% to our government.

At the end of the year, the employer or financial institution adds a line to your pay or account statement telling you how much money was paid out as your tax share.

We could gut the IRS and tax preparers like a Sunday goose, reduce paperwork, end hours of frustration as taxpayers try to figure IRS code wondering if they have to pay. They've already paid.

Fear not revenuers and tax geeks. The self employeed and unaddressed special cases will still need help.

Corporations and businesses? More difficult. Number one for me, however, is credits for jobs created and severe penalties for jobs deleted. Oh special case, executive bonuses and stock options; 99% tax. Intangible perks? Sort of subjective. I'd personally like to see some bitter elderly person who worked hourly their entire life set the tax on that.

Sorry for the length, (and misspellings I missed) but I view our tax system as a giant mismanaged scam. I believe many deductions and loopholes benefit an elite few and need to be removed. Our tax code, for all citizens, by the way, should be simple and short enough to fit on single double spaced page. I feel most everything else is smoke and mirrors to allow those who can afford lawyers to hide their wealth and evade taxes.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 10:31

A thoroughly re-written history -- as it occurred.


By: yogiman on 2/15/12 at 10:33


I'll repeat: If a riot is caused simply by the color of a person's skin, it is the racists that are causing the riot, not the factual voters. And I'll also repeat, to welcome Barry Soetoro to stay in that office even though he is, and he knows he is, illegally in there should wake the common sense people of this nation up.

We're close enough to communism now, if Soetoro can usurp that office again, the USA won't be any more. It will become the CUSA.

Doesn't it make sense (at least to reasonably intelligent people) Barack Obama (Barry Soetoro) would have save millions of dollars to simply show his birth certificate?

By: Loner on 2/15/12 at 10:38

The troll reverts to type...."USURPER"...."USURPER"...."USURPER"...must have went off his meds again.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 10:41

Well I guess that's the difference between you and me Yogi... I prefer for Obama to go down for his horrible ideas and policies rather than set America on fire over a some stupid birth certificate technicality.

By: yogiman on 2/15/12 at 10:44


Sadly to say, this isn't the USA our founder gave to us. Congress has come to the conclusion they are our employers instead of our employees. They seem to forget what oath they swore to uphold when sworn into office because its too heavy for them to carry around capitol hill.

It seems to get them in the way of corporations and industries too much.

Congress is simply a claim game and the common citizens don't have a claim to make.

Anyone who votes for an incumbent in office this election will deserve what they are keeping.

By: bfra on 2/15/12 at 10:44

Loner - I don't think meds for a warped brain have been invented, much less for someone without one.

By: yogiman on 2/15/12 at 10:53

Sorry, Loner. I think you should get on your pills. You know, the ones supposedly giving you your intelligence?


As I understand, the Negro race is only 12 percent of our population. So, even if 100% of them start a riot because the other 88 percent of the population won't vote for "their boy" because he's "one of them" shows they are bigger damn fools than they show themselves to be on the issue.

Heck, we've got them out numbered 7 to 1... and you don't think we can whip their asses?

And by the way, I've talked to a lot of people of the Negro race that hate the guy. Or are they lying? So let's place that advantage on a 8 to 1 basis. We gottum whupped.

By: BenDover on 2/15/12 at 10:55

yogi... I fear you are literally insane.