Ken Johnson

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November 29, 2012
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JOHNSON: Connecting the dots

Tax the rich?

Golly. Everyone in Washington is finally looking at the "fiscal cliff." House, Senate and the Administration are all looking at everything financial.

Plus those pesky "entitlements" (Social Security/Medicare) that eat up over one-half the money coming in.

Right now the arguments are about political party points; tax the rich as a class on one side, reduce some costs on the other.

So before some grand compromise is struck, shall we try to look at the details? Only the folks paying taxes are paying taxes. Want to guess who the "reform" target is?

You got it. The famed Middle Class.

Even those with special favors under the tax laws seems to agree we need a whole new tax law. We're all sure that won't happen in December, aren't we?

In fact, DO count on unpleasant surprises.

Some tinkering with Social Security and Medicare.

Some "help" for the middle class.

More debt.

And sneakers that may not make the news.

Might want to write or call your congressman and senators on one point. Do it now or we lose any chance to even whine about your tax increase.

In today's Washington warfare over raising taxes and cutting spending it would be easy to just ignore the "temporary" cut in your Social Security/Medicare withholding.

It comes through FICA, the money withheld from every paycheck that is supposed to go for Social Security/Medicare.

For the past couple of years, as part of the "stimulus," we've had a 2% cut in what's withheld. It has been our "pocket money" and mostly goes straight back into our local economy.

It expires Dec. 31.

IF it's ignored and both employers and all of us individuals each pay 2% more every paycheck, the administration's goal of $160 billion a year in tax increases will pick up $115 billion a year.

What a temptation!

Sure doesn't leave much else to tax except the rich, eh?

Oh, and that tax on those "rich" folks is hoped to bring in only $52 billion. Guess a lot more of us workers and businesses coughing up a 4% hairball is pretty easy when it will be automatic!

Ken is founder of the Grand Junction Free Press and former publisher of The Daily Sentinel. He spends his time between the Grand Valley and California.

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The Post Independent Updated Nov 29, 2012 01:06PM Published Nov 29, 2012 01:06PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.