Category Archives: payroll tax

Congressman Frank Pallone’s Statement on Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Insurance and Medicare Doc Fix

WASHINGTON D.C.—On Friday, February 17, 2012, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives on the extension of the Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Insurance and Medicare doctor’s payment fix. The bill will continue vital programs that provide tax cuts averaging $1,000 for more that 160 millions Americans, extend unemployment insurance payments for those who are out of work through no fault of their own and ensure that doctors can continue to treat Medicare patients. While the extensions of the programs are critical, Congressman Pallone expressed his disappointment that the programs have been saved by cutting benefits to federal workers and payments to hospitals and nursing facilities.

The following is the statement Congressman Pallone delivered on the House Floor:

Thank you, M. Speaker. Today’s payroll tax conference agreement will provide $1,000 in the pockets of more than 160 million Americans and ensure that approximately 3.5 million Americans will continue to benefit from much needed unemployment insurance. We have also protected seniors’ ability to see their doctors with an SGR fix through the end of the year.

Despite these critical provisions, this is a difficult vote to take. I am greatly disappointed over how these extensions are offset. First, the unemployment extension is paid for on the backs of middle class Federal workers. These hardworking men and women continue to be targeted in this Congress – but yet they are not the reason for our nation’s deficits. Meanwhile, my Republican colleagues refuse to require the wealthiest few to pay their fair share.

Secondly, the SGR fix is being paid for with critical health care dollars. In fact, the bill slashes one of the most important investments this country has ever made in preventive health. That is extremely short-sighted. We cannot continue down that path or we will never address the real cost concerns of our health care system.

Sadly, the bill also manages to cut from one provider – hospitals and nursing homes – to help pay for another – physicians. We cannot rob Peter to pay Paul and our health care system cannot sustain further provider cuts. Meanwhile, there is still no permanent solution to an ongoing SGR problem that cannot continue to be kicked down the road again.

I will vote in favor of this bill, but I do so with grave reservations. Thank you.

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Filed under Congressman Frank Pallone, House Floor statement, Medicare, payroll tax, tax cuts, unemployment benefits

President Obama’s Weekly Address 2/11/12: Extending the Payroll Tax Cut for the Middle Class

WASHINGTON, DC—In this week’s address, President Obama urged Congress to quickly pass the payroll tax cut extension to prevent a tax hike on 160 million hardworking Americans who are still recovering from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. This is not the time for a self-inflicted wound on the recovery or placing an added burden on middle class families, so Democrats and Republicans must pass this commonsense tax cut without drama or delay. We overcame the same standoff over the payroll tax cut extension in December with the help of the American people, and President Obama once again calls on all Americans to tell their elected leaders to do their jobs, put aside partisanship, and extend this tax cut for the middle class.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under middle-class tax cuts, payroll tax, President Obama, tax cut extension, weekly address

Congressman Frank Pallone Calls on Republicans to Stop Efforts to Raise Taxes on the Middle Class

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2011

WASHINGTON D.C.—Today, Tuesday, December 20, 2011, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06) stood with Members of the House Democratic Leadership at a press conference calling on Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans to vote for a Senate bill extending the current Payroll Tax cuts and Unemployment Insurance. Both the Payroll Tax cuts, instituted by President Obama in 2009, and Unemployment Insurance for Americans who are out of work to no fault of their own, are set to expire on December 31, 2011 if the House fails to take action.

Earlier in the day in a speech on the Floor of the House of Representatives Congressman Pallone stated that, “The consequence for the American people is that the economy is in a very perilous situation right now, if you take this tax cut and you don’t extend it, then it’s very possible people won’t have money to spend, the economy won’t grow, and this teetering economy could easily fall back into a recession again.”

“They are playing a dangerous game with the lives and livelihoods of all Americans, at a time when we can afford it the least,” said Pallone. Their agenda is clear; end tax breaks to working Americans and the middle class while cutting the lifeline for the unemployed at a time when they can afford it the least.”

If Congress fails to take action and allows the Payroll Tax cuts to expire, Americans can expect to pay an additional $1,500 per year in additional taxes and 2.2 out of work Americans will lose their Unemployment Insurance.

View Congressman Pallone’s full floor statement here.

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Filed under 6th Congressional District, Congressman Frank Pallone, John Boehner, middle-class tax cuts, payroll tax, press release, tax increase, unemployment insurance

President Obama’s Weekly Address 12/10/11 : Ensuring a Fair Shot for the Middle Class

WASHINGTON— In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that the United States succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and engages in fair play. This is why the President nominated Richard Cordray to lead a new consumer-watchdog agency designed to protect families from being taken advantage of, but Republicans in Congress have blocked the nomination. They have also stood in the way of a balanced plan to extend the payroll tax cut for working families – and the President made clear he believes that elected officials should not go home for the holidays until they’ve done what is right for the American people and for the economy by extending this tax cut.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under consumer watchdog, fair share, middle-class tax cuts, payroll tax, President Obama, Richard Cordray, the White House Blog, weekly address

President Obama’s Weekly Address 12/3/11 : Extending and Expanding the Payroll Tax Cut

President Obama calls on Congress to extend and expand the payroll tax cut — to protect middle class families and ensure that the economy continues to grow

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Filed under economy, jobs bill, payroll tax, President Obama, tax cuts, unemployment rate, weekly address

President Obama’s Weekly Address 8/20/11: Weekly Address: Putting Country Ahead of Party

WASHINGTON— In this week’s address, President Obama spoke to the American people from the Corner Country Farm in Alpha, Illinois on the need to create jobs and strengthen the economy. President Obama reminded the American people that we still have the best workers, entrepreneurs, and students in the world, and called on both parties to come together and act on a series of steps we can take right away to get our nation back to work.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under Alpha Illinois, back to work, bus tour, economy, Job creation, made in the usa, midwest, payroll tax, politics as usual, President Obama, road construction, weekly address

>NJPP Monday Minute 12/20/10: Deficit be Damned: Everyone Gets a Tax Cut Next Year

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This Christmas, we’ll all be getting a gift from Congress – two more years of Bush-era tax cuts. Never mind that Congress is paying for them with a credit card; they’ll square up the $860 billion bill with the Obama Administration down the road.

The thing is, the biggest gifts went to the wealthiest taxpayers.

A recent analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington-based public interest research and advocacy organization, estimates that the compromise plan agreed to between President Obama and Republicans in Congress would give 25 percent of the total value of the tax cuts to the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans. The President had originally proposed not extending the tax cuts for those with income of more than $250,000 a year.

The CTJ analysis also estimates the impact of the compromise on a state-by-state basis. In New Jersey, that’s an average benefit of $443 for the poorest 20 percent of earners and an average benefit of $93,350 for the wealthiest 1 percent.

The compromise plan extends to everyone the current federal income tax rates for two years, cuts the estate tax to below the 2009 level and cuts Social Security payroll tax deductions for all workers by 2 percent.

Income Taxes
Federal income tax rates were lowered twice during the Bush administration, in 2001 and again in 2003. Although each act had its own legislative history and impact, the two are generally lumped together in terms of their effect on taxpayers and the economy. The two acts significantly lowered federal marginal income tax rates for nearly all taxpayers. Both were set to expire at the end of 2010.

The debate in Washington has centered on whether the tax cuts should be extended and who should benefit. The president’s plan favored lower and middle income families and allowed rates to rise on the wealthiest taxpayers. Congressional Republicans wanted the current tax rates made permanent for all.

Congressional Republicans prevailed-but only temporarily. The tax cuts were extended two more years, at which time they will be subject to another debate.

Estate Taxes
The debate on the estate tax centered on Obama’s effort to maintain estate taxes at the 2009 level, which exempts the first $3.5 million of an estate and taxes the remainder at a rate of 45 percent. The compromise exempts the first $5 million and taxes the remainder at 35 percent.

Payroll Taxes
The compromise includes a 2 percent payroll tax cut (from 6.2% to 4.2%) for all workers. That is significantly less than the president’s “Making Work Pay” proposal, which would have eliminated the 6.2 percent payroll tax on the first $6,450 ($12,900 for couples) in earnings. The impact of this 2 percent cut is greater on lower income earners because only the first $107,000 of income is subject to payroll taxes.

According to CTJ’s analysis, the top 1 percent of taxpayers in New Jersey with incomes averaging $1.8 million will receive over 30 percent of these benefits from the income tax and estate tax provisions. When payroll taxes are taken into consideration, lower and middle income earners fare better. While some of the tax cuts have boosted take-home pay for middle class families, the tax cuts for the wealthiest are poorly designed short-term stimulus and, more important, ineffective long-term economic policy. Increasing the take-home pay of low- and moderate-income families will lead to more spending and a boost in demand for necessary goods and services, which in turn creates more jobs. By contrast, tax cuts for the wealthy are more likely to be tucked away as savings, which is a relatively ineffective boost to the economy.

Many have argued that tax cuts for the wealthy increase the incentive to invest or create small business jobs, and that these benefits eventually trickle down to average families. But the economic record tells a different story. Of the 10 economic expansions since 1949, the expansion between 2001 and 2009 ranks last in terms of economic growth, national investment, employment and employee pay.

Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics estimates (see Table 4 in the report) that every dollar spent making the Bush tax cuts permanent generates only 35 cents of economic activity (permanent corporate tax rate cuts yield only 32 cents). Comparatively speaking, a dollar spent on infrastructure (investing in a transit tunnel under the Hudson River, for example) yields $1.57 return on investment; a dollar spent to prevent layoffs of teachers or police or firefighters yields $1.41; and a dollar to temporarily increase food stamps yields $1.72.

It’s too bad the Obama compromise will only boost paychecks, instead of lifting the entire economy.

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Filed under Bush Tax Cuts, estate tax, income taxes, Monday Minute, Moody's, New Jersey Policy Perspective, payroll tax, President Obama, Social Security