Freeman

ANYTHING PEACEFUL

Is It a Tax or Not?

JANUARY 26, 2012 by SHELDON RICHMAN

In his State of the Union speech the other night President Obama said:

Right now, our most immediate priority is stopping a tax hike on 160 million working Americans while the recovery is still fragile. People cannot afford losing $40 out of each paycheck this year. There are plenty of ways to get this done. So let’s agree right here, right now: No side issues. No drama. Pass the payroll tax cut without delay.

I’m old enough to remember when politicians denied that the FICA deduction from our paychecks is a tax. “It’s a contribution to your future retirement income and medical care,” they’d say. Today they forthrightly call it a tax.

I’m beginning to suspect that politicians will say whatever they think will get them reelected.

As for the idea that cutting the payroll tax is costless, see my earlier post.

ABOUT

SHELDON RICHMAN

Sheldon Richman is the former editor of The Freeman and TheFreemanOnline.org, and a contributor to The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. He is the author of Separating School and State: How to Liberate America's Families.

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