Friday, January 4, 2013

Look Closely At That Pay Check

Today is pay day for a majority of people across this country.  Well, be sure to look closely at that pay check.  You may notice a slight change in your take-home pay...

Despite not going "over the fiscal cliff," Americans are still going to notice some changes.  The Payroll Tax Cut, which cut 2% in taxes, ended 12/31/12.  That means that the Social Security Payroll Tax will be reinstated (go from 4% to roughly 6.2%).  What does it mean for you?  It means that an annual income of $50,000 will notice an additional $1,000 of taxes coming out of their pay checks in 2013.

Now, in all fairness, this is not a tax hike.  This is simply reinstating what we used to pay prior to the Payroll Tax Cut a few years ago in 2009.  So, FOX News, please don't fire up the "Obama is raising your taxes" cue cards just yet.  Enraging the masses to rebel against something that was already being paid a few years ago is nothing at all like a new tax increase.

On the flip side, some people may not care.  To most, 2% doesn't sound significant, but when you consider the stressful financial situations that some families have been experiencing as of late, to loosely quote V.P. Joe Biden, "it's a big 'effing' deal."  Using the example of a $50k household income, $1,000 per year in tax deductions is $38 every two weeks.  $38 every two weeks is $76 per month.  What does $76 pay in your household?  Your cell phone bill?  Gas for your commute to work?  Cable or internet costs, maybe?  Make no mistake about it, for some families, 2% is a huge deal.

We the People should always pay attention to what's going on in Washington.  I can visualize at least five people that I know who will be confused when they get their pay checks.  They don't pay attention to politics.  They think news is depressing, so they spend their time watching "entertaining" programming instead. 

I get that for someone who is maybe in their early 20's, but at what point do you grow up and pay attention to things that truly affect your life?  When do you turn off "The Bachelor" and turn on MSNBC or FOX News?

How in-tuned with politics are you?  Are news shows informative or depressing?  Is 2% significant?

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