The Europeans must think we Americans are damn fools...and they would be right. We should have taken to the streets LONG before they ever had the good sense to do. They've been complaining about the G-20/G-7 for years, the big central banks that have been micro-managing our lives to enrich the elitist money masters.
“I have reviewed this agreement that the president reached with the Republican leaders. The agreement taken as a whole is, I believe, the best bipartisan agreement we can reach to help the most Americans.” - Bill Clinton (Dec.2010)
It seems that on the outside, all "well-meaning" Democrats become corrupted sooner or later.
President Obama's agreement ("compromise") last December with the Republicans wasn't a compromise at all. He sold the average working people of America another bill of goods. The uber-wealthy have been doing this to us all along; they've always tossed a bone to the peons, telling them how wonderful it will be for them, pat them on the head, and say, "Be good now."
The GOP had withheld the funding (held hostage the funding) for extended federal unemployment benefits with the demand that the uber-rich also have their Bush Tax Cuts extended for two more years - they wouldn't just allow working-class people to have their taxes lowered (about $15 in their paychecks) unless capital gains taxes for the uber-rich stayed at 15% as well. Capital gains is taxed at a lower rate than regular payroll income is for us working stiffs.
The "bone" Obama through at us peons was to brag that he also lowered the Social Security taxes starting this year in 2011. For every $100 you gross, you get to keep two more bucks. But wasn't Social Security supposed to be going broke, and hasn't the GOP been whining like stuck pigs about the cost of this "entitlement"? Haven't the Republicans and the Tea Party ravers been ranting about this "government hand-out" and threatening to cut back and reduce this huge cost from our budget to lower the nation's debt and deficit?
I don't get it. Am I missing something here? Am I the only dummy in the room, or am I one of the few that managed to keep a marble or two?
The "Obama Compromise" reduced the employee’s share of the Social Security payroll tax by 2 percent. It went from 6.2% in 2010 to 4.2% in 2011 - up to a maximum base wage limit of $106,800 a year.
Why was this? With this paltry amount of savings, will YOU "stimulate the economy"? What will you buy every week with all that extra cash? Basically, you'll just have that much less going towards your retirement fund - just to squander on something that a big corporation wants you to buy today...but "to improve their economy", not yours.
Obama (and his new Republican friends who represent the uber-rich) just had you pay less in FICA to further under-fund your eventual retirement and medical care when you get too old or too sick to work. And this "benefit" you get with a little more cash in your pocket every payday was just traded for billions of dollars in now-to-be-uncollected lost tax revenues from the uber-rich, which is the extended capital gains taxes (the Bush Tax Cuts). Some big favor Obama did you, huh? That was quite a bone they gave us to chew on! Golly gee! Pat me on the head again!
The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax is a payroll (or employment) tax imposed by the federal government on both employees and employers to fund Social Security and Medicare — federal programs that provide benefits for retirees, the disabled, and children of deceased workers. Social Security benefits include old-age, survivors, and disability insurance (OASDI); Medicare provides hospital insurance benefits. The amount that one pays in payroll taxes throughout one's working career is indirectly tied to the social security benefits annuity that one receives as a retiree.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities states that three-quarters of taxpayers pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. The FICA tax is considered a regressive tax* on income (with no standard deduction or personal exemption deduction) and is imposed only on the first $106,800 of gross wages. The tax is not imposed on investment income (such as interest and dividends).
* The Social Security component of the FICA tax has been called "regressive", meaning the effective tax rate regresses (decreases) as income increases. For wage levels above the limit of $106,800 a year, the absolute dollar amount of tax owed remains constant thereafter. (How much do CEOs and bankers earn?)
FICA is also not collected on unearned income, including interest on savings deposits, stock dividends, and capital gains such as profits from the sale of stock or real estate. Stuff the uber-rich invest in (Investments to them are like paychecks to us). The proportion of total income which is exempt from FICA as "unearned income" tends to rise with higher income brackets...such as CEOs, bankers, hedge fund managers, stock traders, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, etc. (all of Obama's new pals).
A CEO of a major corporation earning OVER a base salary of $106,800 a year pays less as a percentage of their income a year towards Social Security and Medicare than you do earning $40,000 a year - - - and if they also have stock-options worth $1 million a year as part of their executive compensation package, after one year they can cash out those shares of company stock (at an equal or greater value) and only pay 15% in taxes as "realized" long-term capital gains, of which NO portion is allocated to the Social Security or Medicare fund.
The capital gains tax rate used to be 28% a few short years ago in 1997 when President Clinton agreed to lower it to 20%. Then President Bush lowered it to 15% in 2003, where it stands today. Now in 2011 the Republicans want to lower that capital gains tax rate to ZERO percent! Sure! Why not put the Statue of Liberty on sale at eBay too!
And that's just for one CEO...but many other people make multiple millions (and some, billions) of dollars every year and have been making out very well with the present (and past) tax code. So I'll say it again...the Republicans want to lower capital gains taxes to ZERO.
Social Security has accumulated a $2.5 trillion trust fund since the 1980s. But the government has borrowed that money to pay for other programs. The Treasury Department has issued special bonds to Social Security, guaranteeing the money will be repaid, with interest. Without changes, Social Security's trust funds will run out of money by 2037, according to the trustees who oversee the program.
But the uber-rich (and apparently, now Obama) don't give a damn if Social Security goes broke in 5 years. Either way, THEY won't need it for themselves. He and his rich corporate and banking pals have plenty of dough, and will never need a "government hand-out" or "entitlement" like us ordinary working folks some day will.
As usual (like always), we just keep getting screwed. And we wonder why the current deficits exist. The GOP and Obama know very well where all the money is and where it's going. They also know where it's not going...to YOU!
I really don't wish Obama (and his sleazy Democratic friends) to wake up with fleas just because they lay with dogs. I hope they enjoy sleeping with the enemy (the GOP). But I also hope they'll all catch a fat dose of syphilis too.