New plan. We just won’t collect the taxes

posted at 12:31 pm on December 9, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

There’s a new bit of creative thinking making the rounds in DC this weekend, proving yet again that not all ideas wind up being good ones. According to this line of thought, assuming no deal is reached to prevent tax rates from going up on the middle class, Timothy Geithner has certain, hidden superpowers which will save the day. If the tax rates go up, people won’t need to worry about it because we just won’t withhold the extra money from their paychecks.

The White House has the power to temporarily protect taxpayers from middle-class tax hikes even as upper income rates rise if Congress does nothing and all of the Bush-era tax rates expire in January.

Experts and lawmakers alike agree that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has the power to adjust how much is withheld from paychecks for tax purposes — for all taxpayers or just for some.

By doing so, Geithner could ensure paychecks reflect the White House position that wealthier taxpayers with annual income higher than $250,000 see their taxes rise. Geithner at the same time could leave withholding tables where they are for the middle class, ensuring those workers don’t see a higher cut from their paychecks.

I’ve noticed a bit of confusion out there, particularly given some of the comments popping up on Twitter, so we should first identify what this doesn’t mean. The White House can not simply ignore the tax laws put in place by Congress and collect a different amount of tax than what is due, and this proposal isn’t suggesting that. If the tax rate goes up, you’re still going to owe more money.

But what they’re talking about is the fact that Treasury is responsible for publishing the withholding tables which employers use to determine how much to deduct from workers’ paychecks for their taxes. In theory, Geithner could leave the withholding tables the same for lower income workers, effectively making it seem as if their taxes haven’t gone up. But this is a pretty dangerous game to play unless you’re very sure you know what the eventual tax rate is going to be and when it will go into effect. If you guess wrong and fail to withhold the correct amount, tens of millions of people will find themselves owing a big ole’ check to the IRS when tax day rolls around and you’ll find yourself about as popular as a skunk at a garden party.

So what does this plan actually “solve” in terms of the ongoing tax debate? In reality… nothing.


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Comment pages: 1 2

why doesn’t someone slip on the handcuffs now that his paws are sticking out?

renalin on December 9, 2012 at 12:33 PM

New plan. We just won’t collect the taxes

Wow… Just imagine if the average tax payer said something similar… Like, if Taxes go up, we will just quit paying our taxes altogether… What could possibly go wrong?

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 12:33 PM

If it feels good, do it. Like Obama is ever going to do something that doesn’t feel good, ever do what needs to be done. He’s a beta-male who makes AllahPundit look like Spartacus.

Paul-Cincy on December 9, 2012 at 12:34 PM

So if Turbo Tax Timmy fails to withhold sufficient funds, and then no deal is reached, some folks could face a real problem at tax time if they haven’t saved up the funds that should have been withheld but weren’t.

What could go wrong?

Geithner reminds me more and more of Dr. Strangelove.

novaculus on December 9, 2012 at 12:37 PM

It’s in keeping with the delusional nature of their policies. If we pretend the debt/taxes/unemployment/recession don’t exist, they can’t hurt us.

Ted Torgerson on December 9, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Sounds like criminal enterprise. Aiding and abetting, constructive engagement in the purposeful non-payment of federal tax?

And the Federal Law says what?

Seriously.

Anyone?

[Not to worry. The Attorney General will be all over this Ponzi in moments, right?]

coldwarrior on December 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Geithner reminds me more and more of Dr. Strangelove.

novaculus on December 9, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Yea, well, except that Dr. Strangelove was half as stupid or crazy…

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Yea, well, except that Dr. Strangelove was half as stupid or crazy…

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Damn it, wasn’t half as stupid or crazy… :(

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Heh… tax planning from Timmy?

Thanks, but no thanks.

darkpixel on December 9, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Taking a page from his immigration law practice, he can administratively determine which acts of Congress get enforced and which laws don’t.
In other words, he can rule by decree!
Nice!

Lew on December 9, 2012 at 12:40 PM

If they go through with this, it will deny Obama his chance to blame Republicans for middle class tax increases (assuming everyone can reach a deal before the end of next year). That leads me to believe that Obama has decided people are going to blame him for any tax increases, no matter what talking points his people put out there. All this talk about the president wanting to go over the cliff is BS.

Mahna Mahna on December 9, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Sounds like criminal enterprise. Aiding and abetting, constructive engagement in the purposeful non-payment of federal tax?

And the Federal Law says what?

Seriously.

Anyone?

[Not to worry. The Attorney General will be all over this Ponzi in moments, right?]

coldwarrior on December 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Remember the Democrat/Marxist’s Zeroth Law… It’s only a crime when a patriotic conservative American does it, when a Democrat/Marxist does it it is the ultimate act of patriotism… o_O

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Making it up as they go along.

That dovetails well with Timmy Geithner not paying taxes.

locomotivebreath1901 on December 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM

This is very dangerous because it undermines the rule of law. It says that a President can apply the law in favor of those who support him and adversely against those who do not. This will send a signal to the middle class that they don’t have to respect tax laws. One of Greece’s financial problems as a high degree of tax avoidance for the politically favorable groups.

I pray they stop talking about these banana republic options.

RedSoxNation on December 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM

We just won’t collect the taxes

YET.

I do note he did not say that the amount would not still be owed.

This is bad.

Very. Bad.

Imagine if our Second Amendment rights were also in danger.

Just sayin’.

RealMc on December 9, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Soooooooooooooo, here’s what we’re finally down to in the U.S.A.

(and a majority of the voters are fine with it apparently).

We have a collection of career polticians that are Soft Americanized Communists with their champion in the White House for another four years (at least).

And then we have a party of career politicians that are Soft Progressives with their leadership wobbling back and forth between caving and sounding tough to keep the base thinking they aren’t going to sell out.

What. could. go. wrong.

?

PappyD61 on December 9, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Let it be said, “He is a kind and benevolent master.”
On each major network. Each evening. Prime time.

onomo on December 9, 2012 at 12:46 PM

It says that a President can apply the law in favor of those who support him and adversely against those who do not.

RedSoxNation on December 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Is this not already being done!?!?!?!?!?!???!!

RealMc on December 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

……and one more thing.

The Soft Progressives that are the gop of today STILL have the cajones to ask the Conservatives for money (Cornyn/Tom Cole/etc.) but they don’t have the cajones to do what Conservatives want.

I think that means that Conservatives are the house slaves of the gop.

PappyD61 on December 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I pray they stop talking about these banana republic options.

RedSoxNation on December 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Don’t bother wasting your prayer, if you honestly think they will stop, then you honestly haven’t figured out what their end game is. It is their intention to completely obliterate the American economy so that they can rebuild it from the ground up as a Marxist command and control central committee economy.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

This is what you get after 100 years of Congress handing over it’s powers, one by one, to a gargantuan bureaucracy that generates wave after wave of regulations from behind a totally opaque screen. The Congress has reduced itself to the status of an interested audience that cheers and boos while the real decisions are made in myriads of committee meetings all over the corrupt “Imperial City” on the Potomac.
But the real blame always gets back to the people who elected them, and it’s becoming more and more clear every day that they really wouldn’t mind a dictator as long as he did what they wanted and didn’t unduly interfere with their entertainments.

Lew on December 9, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Imagine if our Second Amendment rights were also in danger.

Just sayin’.

RealMc on December 9, 2012 at 12:46 PM

The DHS purchasing 1.5 BILLION rounds of Hollow point ammunition clearly indicates that your 2nd Amendment constitutional rights are in emanate danger. Don’t bother saying “they can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead hand” That is exactly what they are planning to do.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 12:52 PM

The White House can not simply ignore the tax laws put in place by Congress and collect a different amount of tax than what is due,

Says who? Barky did this with illegals en masse (which should have gotten him impeached and tossed from office), he did it with the Libyan War that he didn’t even bother giving Congress a heads up on, let alone having to get Congressional approval, and has run on his whim rather than law for just about all of his illegitimate tenure.

We do NOT live by the Rule of Law. We now live in Rule by Empathy – i.e. the arbitrary decisions of America-hating idiots. Get used to it. The American Socialist Superstate voted for it and the cowardly GOP in Congress refused to fight against it.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 9, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Well, people do get what they vote for. They can feel secure by

not

seeing less money in their checks.

The Ogabe administration knows what it is doing and how many stupid people are out there. When it comes time to file, my guess is that most folks won’t even notice, or they’ll find some way to blame it on the evil rich. More likely – Ogabe will come up with some new plan to offer some undeserved tax credit to certain special interests to offset the difference.

So folks will have too little deducted for all of 2013. When it comes time to file, there are way too many people who get all or more of their money refunded, so they may not notice if it’s just a smaller than usual refund.

Redistribution.

reaganaut on December 9, 2012 at 12:54 PM

They won’t collect the taxes but they will publish the taxes that will be required to be paid.

Oh this does sound confusing. So don’t worry about paying them –right?

WRONG.

Don’t pay your taxes and the tax man cometh- to repossess your possessions. Houses, cars cash, business’

Philo Beddoe on December 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM

I guess Geithner learned that trick from Turbo Tax?

ctmom on December 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM

and the cowardly Marxist GOP in Congress refused to fought against for it as hard as the Democrat Marxist’s did.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 9, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Sorry Pair, had to fix that to reflect reality…

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 12:57 PM

That leads me to believe that Obama has decided people are going to blame him for any tax increases, no matter what talking points his people put out there. All this talk about the president wanting to go over the cliff is BS.

Mahna Mahna

Been saying that for weeks now. All they have to is call his bluff.

xblade on December 9, 2012 at 12:58 PM

The White House can not simply ignore the tax laws put in place by Congress and collect a different amount of tax than what is due

Yeah, we’ll see how long that line holds up…

If you guess wrong and fail to withhold the correct amount, tens of millions of people will find themselves owing a big ole’ check to the IRS when tax day rolls around and you’ll find yourself about as popular as a skunk at a garden party.

How convenient. Obama wouldn’t exploit that for all it’s worth or anything…

Glenn Jericho on December 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM

That leads me to believe that Obama has decided people are going to blame him for any tax increases, no matter what talking points his people put out there. All this talk about the president wanting to go over the cliff is BS.

Mahna Mahna

Been saying that for weeks now. All they have to is call his bluff.

xblade on December 9, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Sorry guys, that is delusional thinking. Obama knows that no matter what happens he and his Marxist cohorts will not be blamed or called to account for their action in any way shape or form.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM

I have a feeling we are seeing the tiny bit of what bho/team has planned after bho is sworn in? All he!! will be brought on those bho/team feels might plow up a snake against them?

Keep in mind morsi and what he did or is trying to do. At least for the time being enought of the citizens are trying to stop him and it seems to be doing something? bho would love more than anything he could think of to pull a morsi here in the US and if he thought for one minute he could he would? bho has gotten away with murder, and I mean that literally by those killed under his watch, and so far not a thing has done to him and won’t! NO one has the guts to try?
L

letget on December 9, 2012 at 1:02 PM

eliminate withholding taxes from paychecks entirely. everyone should have to write a check once a year for their tax liability. and the due date should be Nov. 1

chasdal on December 9, 2012 at 1:04 PM

But what they’re talking about is the fact that Treasury is responsible for publishing the withholding tables which employers use to determine how much to deduct from workers’ paychecks for their taxes. In theory, Geithner could leave the withholding tables the same for lower income workers, effectively making it seem as if their taxes haven’t gone up. But this is a pretty dangerous game to play unless you’re very sure you know what the eventual tax rate is going to be and when it will go into effect. If you guess wrong and fail to withhold the correct amount, tens of millions of people will find themselves owing a big ole’ check to the IRS when tax day rolls around and you’ll find yourself about as popular as a skunk at a garden party.

Oh PLEASE, Timmy – screw that up.

“Prediction? Pain!

Steve Eggleston on December 9, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Do they assume that they will be eternally in control of the Dept of Injustice? As soon as a Republican AG takes over, he’ll be at liberty to throw a very big book at Timmy for aiding and abetting a tax evasion scheme – and federal tax crimes, if I remember correctly, have no statute of limitation.

Archivarix on December 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

On second thought maybe this idea of not collecting/paying taxes has merit. My money supporting MB, PLO, UN, bail outs, unions and Public Broadcasting. To name a few I would not give money too. Creative book keeping may become popular again. Or more popular. Truth is next April my intentions are to be very creative. I think this article should go in my tax file for motivation.

filetandrelease on December 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

So when Taxman Timmy has that nevermind moment and sends out the big bill for the taxes that did not get withheld – by his approval, mind you – will he be charging interest as well on the underpayment of taxes?

DaveDief on December 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Geithner(D-TaxCheat) plan. We just won’t collect the taxes? So… he plans to create a nation of tax cheats?

DANEgerus on December 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Just more of that Obysmal administration audacity…

onlineanalyst on December 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Do they assume that they will be eternally in control of the Dept of Injustice? As soon as a Republican AG takes over, he’ll be at liberty to throw a very big book at Timmy for aiding and abetting a tax evasion scheme – and federal tax crimes, if I remember correctly, have no statute of limitation.

Archivarix on December 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Democrat and Republican are just fictitious titles used to deceive a ignorant Marxist indoctrinated gullible public. Both parties have been fully infiltrated and taken over by Marxists, there is no real difference between them anymore. America has been castrated and beaten into subjugation to Marxism. Welcome to the New World Order of the United Socialist States of America comrade.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

The people running this country have the economic acumen of a typical junior-high-school student, and the morals of a preschooler.

Socratease on December 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

So once again Obama and his cronies will do exactly whatever they want while the Republicans stand helplessly by and watch. If nothing else, this reign of terror shows that our system of checks and balances does not work. If there are tools available to stop this, Republicans better figure out what they are and how to use them.

Night Owl on December 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Truth is next April my intentions are to be very creative. I think this article should go in my tax file for motivation.

filetandrelease on December 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

File your taxes at the lower rate and enclose a statement from Obama saying the middle class should NOT have had its taxes raised. You and 10 million others do that, you might have something. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The rule of law be damned.

Paul-Cincy on December 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I was one of many Republicans who thought we should just go over the cliff. I’m having seconds thoughts about that approach. The Republicans of course will get blamed for taking the country over the cliff, and Obama will get painted as the hero for restoring the middle class tax cuts. If that happens, there’s definitely a risk that Obama will have complete control (Senate, House) the last two years of his term. Needless to say, that would be a disaster.

So how do Republicans get out the corner they are painted into?

GCM on December 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

In other news today, IQ levels among Democrats continue to drop.

banzaibob on December 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

If there are tools available to stop this, Republicans better figure out what they are and how to use them.

Night Owl on December 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

The GOPe have no intention of stopping what Obama and company are doing, it is their plan as much as it is Obama’s. We have been betrayed by individuals who lied to us, who were and are Marxist infiltrators pretending to be conservative Republicans. John Boehner didn’t remove all the conservatives from positions of authority for no reason ya know.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 1:14 PM

So how do Republicans get out the corner they are painted into?

GCM on December 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

It is simple. Republicans should introduce two bills to vote on…

Bill # 1: Extend the Bush tax cuts to people making up to $ 200,000… This will be signed by Obama…

Bill # 2: Also extend the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $ 200,000… This will be either shutdown in the Senate by democrats or even it pass the Senate it will be vetoed by Obama… So Obama and the democrats will be on record taxing the job creators…

mnjg on December 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

This is all a bad dream. I hope I wake up soon.

tngmv on December 9, 2012 at 1:18 PM

The people running this country have the economic acumen of a typical junior-high-school student, and the morals of a preschooler.

Socratease on December 9, 2012 at 1:10 PM

From day 1 Obama has used the federal treasury as his own piggy bank to provide for his supporters, and himself. Just like Romney said. Obama has little to no conception of the value of money. Like leaving your kid over the weekend to party with his friends and leaving the liquor cabinet unlocked.

Not to mention the

Obama family ‘costs taxpayers $1.4BILLION per year’

headline. That’s more than 0.1% of our yearly deficit. It’s not much, but, as was misattributed to Everett Dirksen, which he still embraced nevertheless, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money”.

Paul-Cincy on December 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

So how do Republicans get out the corner they are painted into?

GCM on December 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

They have no intention of getting out of that corner, they want to be in that corner. Neutering Obama would be easy, they could begin impeachment hearing against him over the Joe Sestak scandal, let the Democrat refuse to convict in the senate, file impeachment hearing against Obama over the Libyan war, let the Democrats refuse to convict him again. File impeachment hears again this time over Fast and Furious, then over Benghazi. Doesn’t matter how many times the democrats refuse to convict, Obama would be neutered by the constant impeachment hearing procedures. But they won’t do it because they are Obama’s Marxist fellow travelers.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

…TurboTax cheat Timmy?…yeah he can come up with good ones!

KOOLAID2 on December 9, 2012 at 1:28 PM

We will talk and talk about this “cliff” but all that will get done are the things both sides agree on which is the doctor fee fix for medicare, the AMT fix so 28 million who did not withhold to pay the AMT rate do not get stuck and that taxes will not rise on the 98% of taxpayers. There is no agreement on anything else and so the rest of the sequester will go through as is. The only thing in doubt is how much the administration, Harry Reid and the MSM insist the GOP be humiliated and will they maximize that by letting the year end pass before they take the other measures above. Good governance would suggest you get it done before New Years; so it is almost a sure bet they will do it retroactively in the new year after the alleged calamity has been perpetrated and the public has been as agitated as much as possible.

KW64 on December 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM

. If you guess wrong and fail to withhold the correct amount, tens of millions of people will find themselves owing a big ole’ check to the IRS when tax day rolls around and you’ll find yourself about as popular as a skunk at a garden party.

Why stop there? I know it’d never happen, but how about a complete repeal of withholding? Have everyone with taxable income send the Treasury a check every month. The result, I believe, if more people thus saw and felt the full impact of the tax burden, there’d be a revolt.

ugottabekiddingme on December 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Wouldn’t this be a bookkeeping and cost nightmare for those businesses these people are working for? The employer sends in quartly taxes for his/her employees, so what do they do, not take out or send in the taxes on those working there that are in the middle income? Doesn’t the feds rely on the quartly as well as 4/15 taxes to keep giving ‘free stuff’? Am I missing something or am I wrong with what I said? Maybe I don’t quite understand the underhand way little timmy is suggesting this?
L

letget on December 9, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Laws? Pffft. We don’t need no steenking laws.

The Rogue Tomato on December 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Am I missing something or am I wrong with what I said? Maybe I don’t quite understand the underhand way little timmy is suggesting this?
L

letget on December 9, 2012 at 1:37 PM

What Turbo Tax Timmy is doing is nothing less than Kabuki Theater Saber rattling hyperbole…

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 1:41 PM

It still seams like Team O really thought they where going to lose and do not even have a plan for next weeks supper, with no thought about what to do in January.

Act like benevolent dictators is all they have left with no plan when the bill hits. The tax bill of goes up and everyone is hit with a bill and penalties because the employer did not withhold enough and did not plan for a huge bill in April 2014. So they get penalties when they can not pay for a years worth of taxes all at once.

tjexcite on December 9, 2012 at 1:41 PM

So what does this plan actually “solve” in terms of the ongoing tax debate? In reality… nothing.

It does buy them time. Clinton raised taxes in the middle of the year. The tax tables were changed to collect that tax retroactively. So come Jan 1 the next year it was changed again to reflect just the new tax rate.

By doing this it gives them several months to a year. If they eventually get the rates set back then the tables will never need changed again.

Steveangell on December 9, 2012 at 1:41 PM

more smoke and mirrors that would probably skate unnoticed. as a retired tax guy, I used to bang my head against the wall trying to explain to seemingly smart people that withholding is merely a means of “pre-pay”. they might be way over-withheld but they look at their refunds and think the president is doing a great job.

teejk on December 9, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Hey, Where are all the trolls acknowledging Obama’s ownership of this debacle?

Galt2009 on December 9, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Beware, this guy might visit your hood.

Schadenfreude on December 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Since you’re dead already, why worry?

Just don’t pay any more taxes.

Schadenfreude on December 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

There’s a new bit of creative thinking making the rounds in DC this weekend, proving yet again that not all ideas wind up being good ones. According to this line of thought, assuming no deal is reached to prevent tax rates from going up on the middle class, Timothy Geithner has certain, hidden superpowers which will save the day.

Geithner requires no superpowers to avoid compliance with the tax code. As a civilian, he only need Turbo Tax or so he said. As Secretary of the Treasury for My Progressive Little Ponyland, he only needs his invisible, do-nothing, magic wand.

Resist We Much on December 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Democrat and Republican are just fictitious titles used to deceive a ignorant Marxist indoctrinated gullible public. Both parties have been fully infiltrated and taken over by Marxists, there is no real difference between them anymore. America has been castrated and beaten into subjugation to Marxism. Welcome to the New World Order of the United Socialist States of America comrade.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

I dig your attitude, bro, but still believe that the Republican Party can still be salvaged with proper leadership from above and vigorous prodding from below. It is impossible to elect perfect people (“Septic Tank Law” – biggest pieces always rise to the top), but it should be possible to make imperfect people behave in such a way as to benefit both their voters and themselves. Too bad the Tea Party lost its way; it was originally envisioned as a RINO prod, not as Dick Armey’s fundraising tool.

Archivarix on December 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

John Maynard Keynes, meet Cloward and Piven.

petefrt on December 9, 2012 at 1:50 PM

“…needed…”

Resist We Much on December 9, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Stupid is as stupid does…

albill on December 9, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Experts and lawmakers alike agree that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has the power to adjust how much is withheld from paychecks for tax purposes — for all taxpayers or just for some.

When did this happen? By that I mean, when did the experts and lawmakers get together and agree to this? By what authority?

Fallon on December 9, 2012 at 1:54 PM

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

I dig your attitude, bro, but still believe that the Republican Party can still be salvaged with proper leadership from above and vigorous prodding from below. It is impossible to elect perfect people (“Septic Tank Law” – biggest pieces always rise to the top), but it should be possible to make imperfect people behave in such a way as to benefit both their voters and themselves. Too bad the Tea Party lost its way; it was originally envisioned as a RINO prod, not as Dick Armey’s fundraising tool.

Archivarix on December 9, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I honestly wish that I still shared your optimism. Sadly, I have surrendered all hope and do not believe that the GOPe is salvageable, they are all utterly and completely corrupt.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 1:54 PM

There’s a lot of stupid ideas that come out of DC, but I think this one takes the cake.

ButterflyDragon on December 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Have everyone with taxable income send the Treasury a check every month. The result, I believe, if more people thus saw and felt the full impact of the tax burden, there’d be a revolt.

ugottabekiddingme on December 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

The current tax withholding tables are deliberately set for generally slight over-withholding so that most people will get a refund check. The psychology is quite simple: if most people had to pay, instead of getting a refund, more people would complain about their taxes. But this refund check looks a lot like ‘free money’ even though, of course, it isn’t.

Combine that with the fact that the tax code has become so complex that it takes specialists and outside help for most people to file their taxes, and you have disconnected most folks from their actual tax bill. Most people simply have no idea what they pay in taxes. It’s a nifty piece of social mollification.

Yep – if there was no withholding by one’s employer, and everyone had to pay quarterly estimated taxes, there would be a lot more scrutiny over what it is all this tax money is getting spent on……….which would probably just result in the Feds borrowing at even higher levels. (Sigh)

ss396 on December 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM

In this administration “most appropriate” appears to equal inappropriately.

Fallon on December 9, 2012 at 2:01 PM

.which would probably just result in the Feds borrowing at even higher levels. (Sigh)

ss396 on December 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM

It would more likely result in a far greater turnover of congressional and senatorial Representatives, which of course is exactly why it isn’t done that way.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Link doesn’t go through – CNBC, so here’s the article

Part I

Hovering in the background of the “fiscal cliff” debate is the prospect of 2 million people losing their unemployment benefits four days after Christmas.

“This is the real cliff,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. He’s been leading the effort to include another extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed in any deal to avert looming tax increases and massive spending cuts in January.

“Many of these people are struggling to pay mortgages, to provide education for their children,” Reed said this past week as President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, rejected each other’s opening offers for a deficit deal.

Emergency jobless benefits for about 2.1 million people out of work more than six months will cease Dec. 29, and 1 million more will lose them over the next three months if Congress doesn’t extend the assistance again. (Read More: Boehner: Obama Walking Economy to Edge of ‘Cliff’)

Since the collapse of the economy in 2008, the government has poured $520 billion – an amount equal to about half its annual deficit in recent years – into unemployment benefit extensions.

White House officials have assured Democrats that Obama is committed to extending them another year, at a cost of about $30 billion, as part of an agreement for sidestepping the fiscal cliff and reducing the size of annual increases in the federal debt.

“The White House has made it clear that it wants an extension,” said Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Schadenfreude on December 9, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Part II

Republicans have been relatively quiet on the issue lately. They demanded and won savings elsewhere to offset the cost of this year’s extension, requiring the government to sell some of its broadcasting airwaves and making newly hired federal workers contribute more toward their pensions.

Boehner did not include jobless benefits in his counteroffer response this past week to Obama’s call for $1.6 trillion in new taxes over the next decade, including raising the top marginal rates for the highest-paid 2 percent.

Long-term unemployment remains a persistent problem. About 5 million people have been out of work for six months or more, according to the Bureau of labor Statistics. That’s about 40 percent of all unemployed workers.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent, the lowest in nearly four years. But much of the decline was due to people so discouraged about finding a job that they quit looking for one. (Read More: Job Creation Hits 146,000, Rate at 7.7%)
Boehner: No Counter Offer to Our Serious Proposal
CNBC’s John Harwood reports the latest on the fiscal cliff negotiations; and Kerry Picket, Washington Times; WABC Radio Talk show host Mark Simone; and Democratic Strategist Jimmy Williams; discuss the division between the parties on a solution to avert the cliff.Democrats have tried to keep a flame burning under the issue. Ending the extended benefits would “deal a devastating blow to our economy,” 42 Democratic senators wrote Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., this past week.

The Congressional Budget Office said in a study last month that extending the current level of long-term unemployment benefits another year would add 300,000 jobs to the economy. The average benefit of about $300 a week tends to get spent quickly for food, rent and other basic necessities, the report said, stimulating the economy.

The liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute found that extended unemployment benefits lifted 2.3 million Americans out of poverty last year, including 600,000 children.

States provide the first 20 weeks to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits for eligible workers who are seeking jobs. When those are exhausted, federal benefits kick in for up to 47 more weeks, depending on the state’s unemployment rate.

The higher a state’s unemployment rate, the longer state residents can qualify for additional weeks of federal unemployment benefits. Only seven states with jobless rates of 9 percent or more now qualify for all 47 weeks.

Congress already cut back federal jobless benefits this year. Taken together with what states offer, the benefits could last up to 99 weeks. Cutting the maximum to 73 weeks has already cut off benefits to about 500,000 people.

Opponents of benefit extensions argue that they can be a disincentive for taking a job.

“Prolonged benefits lead some unemployed workers to spend too much time looking for jobs that they would prefer to find, rather than focusing on jobs that they are more likely to find,” said James Sherk, a labor policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

But Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, noted that unemployment checks add up to about $15,000 a year. “That’s poverty level,” he said. “This is not something people just want to continue on, they want to get jobs.”

Schadenfreude on December 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Hovering in the background of the “fiscal cliff” debate is the prospect of 2 million people losing their unemployment benefits four days after Christmas.

Schadenfreude on December 9, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Obama needs those people to loose their benefits, since once they loose them, they will fall off the unemployment roles and the unemployment rate in the US will take a massive downward spike. Can you say, 5% unemployment… Yea… I knew you could.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

“Today, I am recognising the hard work of everyday Americans and acknowledging that the money they earn does not belong to the Federal government by announcing a 50% tax cut of ALL Federal tax rates of each and every kind. Of course, it’s not a law because only Congress has taxing and spending authority under the Constitution, but based upon precedent set by my predecessors, I am instead directing my Treasury Secretary and the Internal Revenue Service to cease forthwith the collection of half of the taxes due and owing the Federal government. I have also signed an Executive Order directing the Department of Justice to cease and desist ALL tax-related prosecutions or other proceedings.”

- Republican President John Doe, 21 January 20??

“Today, I have signed the Taxpayer Emancipation Proclamation. Pursuant to this Order, the United States Treasury will no longer collect taxes of any kind and neither the Department of Justice nor the Internal Revenue Service will ever again set their boots upon the necks of free men and women.

Surprise! It’s October!”

- Republican President John Doe, 31 October 20?? plus 1,381 days

Resist We Much on December 9, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Hovering in the background of the “fiscal cliff” debate is the prospect of 2 million people losing their unemployment benefits four days after Christmas.

“This is the real cliff,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. He’s been leading the effort to include another extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed in any deal to avert looming tax increases and massive spending cuts in January.

“Many of these people are struggling to pay mortgages, to provide education for their children,” Reed said this past week as President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, rejected each other’s opening offers for a deficit deal.

CLEARLY until we get the Federal Government to guarantee that people will get 100% of their regular salaries when they lose their jobs this “injustice” will continue.

Federal control of EVERYTHING……..NOW.

It’s our only hope to achieve “fairness”.

PappyD61 on December 9, 2012 at 2:14 PM

There will be a lot of pissed Americans in quarterly-filing-land.

unclesmrgol on December 9, 2012 at 2:14 PM

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

And the fools deserve him. They brung him – let them starve.

Schadenfreude on December 9, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Resist We Much on December 9, 2012 at 2:13 PM

:) good one

Schadenfreude on December 9, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Insane comes to mind. Plastic pre-school hammer vs. a framing hammer…
An entire box of them.

I was wanting to say this on the Sunday Talking Heads thread. I deferred.

so, now I will.

Thought of this on Sunday morning, 20121209.
I have static, vertigo. Flying, moving isn’t an issue.

Bizarre analogies:

Imagine a bonfire so large, that every few minutes another
pallet of $1000 bills (think Lethal Weapon) gets dropped into the blaze.
They’d like us to think that throwing a few, plug nickels into that
inferno will, in any way, help douse it.

Like making sure they empty the crumbs from the bottom of the
toaster prior to loading up another round of toast in a four slicer,
engaging —- then tossing it into the tub of the USA.

I’m of the optimistic sort.

mickytx on December 9, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Starve the Looters!!!

Schadenfreude on December 9, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Hovering in the background of the “fiscal cliff” debate is the prospect of 2 million people losing their unemployment benefits four days after Christmas.

“This is the real cliff,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. He’s been leading the effort to include another extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed in any deal to avert looming tax increases and massive spending cuts in January.

“Many of these people are struggling to pay mortgages, to provide education for their children,” Reed said this past week as President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, rejected each other’s opening offers for a deficit deal.

If we just seized 100% of all private property in the United States could we give everyone everything they want or need?

Isn’t the freedom from want a right?

PappyD61 on December 9, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Why stop there? I know it’d never happen, but how about a complete repeal of withholding? Have everyone with taxable income send the Treasury a check every month. The result, I believe, if more people thus saw and felt the full impact of the tax burden, there’d be a revolt.

ugottabekiddingme on December 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Agree totally. And make sure that a big tax bill is due right before election day.

juliesa on December 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Well, this I know, Timmy:
If the IRS is acting as the enforcer for the 0bamacare medical Insurance Mandate, you won’t be collecting MY taxes, except at the point of a gun.

If I’m going to prison (or the re-education camps) for failure to purchase ‘insurance’ from you thugs, I might as well go for income tax evasion too.

LegendHasIt on December 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM

But what they’re talking about is the fact that Treasury is responsible for publishing the withholding tables which employers use to determine how much to deduct from workers’ paychecks for their taxes. In theory, Geithner could leave the withholding tables the same for lower income workers, effectively making it seem as if their taxes haven’t gone up. But this is a pretty dangerous game to play unless you’re very sure you know what the eventual tax rate is going to be and when it will go into effect. If you guess wrong and fail to withhold the correct amount, tens of millions of people will find themselves owing a big ole’ check to the IRS when tax day rolls around and you’ll find yourself about as popular as a skunk at a garden party.

That would mean that, if this drags out to April 2014, then passing or not passing an extension of the lower income tax cuts would mean that most of the country would have to pay a large sum of money to the IRS — and they will all be waiting as long as possible to send in those checks. Can you imagine how many people would default on that? It would be a huge mess.
And I’m not sure who it would benefit politically.

Count to 10 on December 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM

This is precisely why I’m in favor of eliminating payroll tax withholding altogether. *Make* people write a check for their payroll taxes periodically, and they will *know* how much they are really paying.

Right now, people haven’t the foggiest idea how much tax they really pay because they never see it first. We’d have a crapload more ‘low taxes, control spending fiscal conservatives’ overnight if people saw what was being taken from them long enough for it to actually register.

Midas on December 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM

So April 2014 comes along and millions of people owe taxes. The Democratic party votes to forgive taxes for …. well anyone likely to vote Democratic. Strangely Democrats sweep 2014 elections. Excuse me Obama and Timmy unilaterally decide without Congress to forgive taxes owed.

odannyboy on December 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Tax Arithmetic Shows Top Rate Is Just a Starter
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/us/politics/tax-arithmetic-shows-top-rate-is-just-a-starter-in-talks.html?

The math shows why. Even if Republicans were to agree to Mr. Obama’s core demand — that the top marginal income rates return to the Clinton-era levels of 36 percent and 39.6 percent after Dec. 31, rather than stay at the Bush-era rates of 33 percent and 35 percent — the additional revenue would be only about a quarter of the $1.6 trillion that Mr. Obama wants to collect over 10 years. That would be about half of the $800 billion that Republicans have said they would be willing to raise.

It’s axiomatic: barack rolls downhill – once they Oppresive-Socialists have established that some – a minority if you will – are to be robbed to provide sustenance for the majority it won’t be just the top 2% who will be sheered of their property.

Galt2009 on December 9, 2012 at 2:37 PM

LIES, and the Lying Liars who tell them!

Vntnrse on December 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

If you guess wrong and fail to withhold the correct amount, tens of millions of people will find themselves owing a big ole’ check to the IRS when tax day rolls around

And I think that you’ve hit the nail on the head right here.

Physics Geek on December 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

1429 days until November 8, 2016

Night Owl on December 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Resist We Much on December 9, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Love you much RWM, you and your blog are conservative national treasures, but, honestly, there is a 1000% greater chance that Unicorn farts and faerie dust will be proven to be genuine sources of energy than of that ever happening.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 3:10 PM

This only works if you have told your employer to blindly follow the tables per your number of deductions. Those that plan more accurately do test runs of the 1040 and give employers a dollar figure to deduct every paycheck.

slickwillie2001 on December 9, 2012 at 3:19 PM

why doesn’t someone slip on the handcuffs now that his paws are sticking out?

renalin on December 9, 2012 at 12:33 PM

LOL!!!

Richard Romano on December 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Why stop there? I know it’d never happen, but how about a complete repeal of withholding? Have everyone with taxable income send the Treasury a check every month. The result, I believe, if more people thus saw and felt the full impact of the tax burden, there’d be a revolt.

ugottabekiddingme on December 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Agree totally. And make sure that a big tax bill is due right before election day.

juliesa on December 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM

For the takers in the democratic base that might be paying ‘negative income taxes’ because of EIC, do they get a check every month? That would be greater incentive to vote democratic.

slickwillie2001 on December 9, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Getting rid of income tax withholding has been a conservative goal for years: the Republicans should be slavering to see this done. The public gets a lesson in what taxes really cost and the Democrats get the blame.

The wonder and the glory is that so boneheaded an idea has been proposed by a non-Republican. The frightening thing is that the Republicans will, somehow, inevitably, not only piss away the opportunity this gives them but will manage to get blamed for it anyway.

PersonFromPorlock on December 9, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Love you much RWM, you and your blog are conservative national treasures, but, honestly, there is a 1000% greater chance that Unicorn farts and faerie dust will be proven to be genuine sources of energy than of that ever happening.

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I wasn’t being serious. My point was only to show what happens with bad precedent and why Progs shouldn’t be so quick to demand Obama circumvent Congress, kill Americans without due process, have authority to borrow as much money as he wants, decide which laws he will enforce and which he won’t (DOMA, immigration), etc.

In the 3 months before the election, the Obama administration was quietly working on protocols for when an American president would have the right to order the deaths of Americans after stripping them of their due process rights (something that the Supreme Court ruled a President and the Federal government cannot even do to enemy combatants that have never set foot on American soil), what kind of process he would have to take, approval from his security/military advisory board, etc, etc.

Now, why did the Obama administration wait a year after the death of Obama’s first American-kill, Anwar al-Awlaki and 3 months before the presidential election to start contemplating a set of limitations on this new power that Obama granted himself — a power that no other president in American history had? If you said the possibility that Mitt Romney would defeat Barack Obama on 6 November 2012 and they didn’t want him to have as much power, then “winnah, winnah, chicken dinner!”

Of course, after Obama won reelection the entire protocols project was shelved.

So, yes, I know that no Republican will ever direct the Treasury and IRS to stop collecting income taxes, but when presidents start playing fast-and-loose with the rules, then they open the door to unimaginable and very unpredictable (for some people — like Democrats should a Republican abolish the income tax, de factorily, using the same manoeuver they, themselves, are discussin today) actions and consequences in the future.

PS: Thx for the compliment. :-)

Resist We Much on December 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM

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