In the past week many Americans received an undeniable shock when they opened their paychecks. I know my husband certainly got one when he opened his. The check he was looking at no longer had the same digits that had been there the previous week – a noticeably smaller check greeted him. Did my husband get demoted? Did he receive a pay-cut? No, those would have been less offensive. My husband got a short lesson in government stupidity and greed – a tax increase.
I, unlike my husband, had been expecting this lovely decrease in pay because I had been closely following the fiscal cliff debacle that was going down in Washington. So when payday came around I purposely checked my husband’s paycheck amount. Although, I had been expecting the decrease, I was still surprised at how large the decrease was and suddenly started worrying about all the little things. Would this affect our ability to buy what we needed to buy? What did I need to cut out to make up for the loss?
To many people 2% may not seem like much and if you look at it in the whole scheme of things it is a relatively small amount; but to a young, growing family even a small cut in pay can make a big impact. To our family it equaled an entire week of groceries, a tank and a half of gas, 2-3 dinners out, 2 months worth of ballet classes for my daughter over the course of a year – the entire cost of a family vacation, and the list could go on and on. Yes, it may be fairly simple to adjust our lives to the new tax, but the question is why should we have to and how is this seemingly minute increase going to affect our already faltering economy?
Personally, our family has already started to make adjustments for the tax. I canceled our landline telephone, canceled a credit monitoring service, and I plan on canceling a pay-per-month educational website for my children. Even with all of these adjustments it still won’t cover the cost of our tax increase so we will have to continue to find ways to meet our government’s new demands and I guarantee you every working American across the country is making these same adjustments. This is what hard working Americans do when they have less money – they spend less money (a lesson our government has apparently never learned). As Americans make these cuts our economy will start to hurt and it could possibly send us sailing back into another recession. Less money will be spent on clothes, movies, jewelry, new cars, new homes, furniture, and travel. Anything that is non-essential will be cut and as these cuts are made, businesses across the country will suffer–and we all know what happens when businesses suffer. People lose their jobs, more people go on government assistance, and more debt is added to the deficit. It is nothing but a vicious cycle.
What makes me most angry about this tax increase is that it is going to a system that is already going bankrupt and will cease to exist by the time I (or any other person under the age of 40) am able to retire. Over the years the government has repeatedly raided the Social Security system to pay for other government programs and in the process has made Social Security into little more than a government-run ponzi scheme. We are all putting our money into a supposed investment and in turn we are being promised a return – a return that many of us will never see. Now we are being told (not asked) to put more money into that ponzi scheme so the government can once again rob it and pay for something else they can’t afford.
The Obama administration has promised from day one that they would “never raise taxes on middle class Americans” but that is exactly what they have done. What is even more sad about the fiscal cliff “deal” that brought us this tax, is the fact that almost all Republican Senators and too many Republican Congressmen voted for it. It is bad enough that we are getting assaulted from the left but now we can’t even trust the right. I hope this tax and the coming barrage of Obamacare taxes will be enough for the average American to finally stand up against the government that is destroying our country. It is no longer about pitting the right against the left, it is about fighting for our very right to survive as free citizens of a free country.