Your Voice Matters in Extending Payroll Tax Cuts
Photo by Flickr user hiddedevries
President Obama urged Americans today to tell their stories of what it would mean to them if Congress does not extend the payroll tax cut, which expires at the end of this month. “Your voices matter,” he told a group assembled at the White House this morning. The group included Bread for the World staff members and other Americans from all over the country.
Late last year, Bread for the World members urged Congress to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. It was extended until the end of February. Bread warned that failure to extend payroll tax cuts would mean that 160 million Americans would have to pay more taxes this year. The White House estimates that for a family of four earning $50,000 annually, it will mean an increase of $1,000 dollars in taxes annually, or $40 per payday.
Obama said that failure to extend the payroll tax cuts toward the end of the year will slow down the country’s economic growth. He noted that while Republican leaders may have forged a compromise, it will not be final until he signs it into law.
“An increase of $40 is too much,” a retired gerontologist told me this morning. “I live on a fixed income and I cannot stretch my budget any more. This is why Congress must extend the payroll tax cuts.” Joining her were students, housewives, workers, and advocates who told their members of Congress what $40 means in their daily lives. For one it was the cost of gas to bring him back and forth to work. For another, it was more food.
The law passed last December also included extending unemployment insurance. Bread for the World estimates that 13.3 million Americans depend on unemployment insurance and many could be pushed to poverty if this is not extended. The extension of unemployment insurance is next up for discussion among members of Congress.
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