Yes, it's a slow news day. The Washington Post feels it has to make an issue out of something in order to attract your attention. So it's looking at the extension of the payroll tax cut and finds a problem.
It's a common problem: whatever you're enjoying today you'll regret tomorrow. The Post is here to remind you you'll feel like shit mañana.
With Congress voting last week to extend the payroll tax holiday, 160 million workers will be spared an immediate tax hike. But the move leaves them facing an even bigger hit in January, when the holiday ends and the payroll tax joins a long list of levies already set to sharply and abruptly go up.
On Dec. 31, the George W. Bush-era tax cuts are scheduled to expire, raising rates on investment income, estates and gifts, and earnings at all levels. Overnight, the marriage penalty for joint filers will spring back to life, the value of the child credit will drop from $1,000 to $500, and the rate everyone pays on the first $8,700 of wages will jump from 10 percent to 15 percent.
The Social Security payroll tax will pop back up to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent under the deal approved Friday by Congress. And new Medicare taxes enacted as part of President Obama’s health-care initiative will for the first time strike high-income households.
The potential shock to the nation’s pocketbook is so enormous, congressional aides have dubbed it “Taxmageddon.” Some economists say it could push the fragile U.S. economy back into recession, particularly if automatic cuts to federal agencies, also set for January, are permitted to take effect. ...WaPo
Oh, and don't forget this, Post: any comity in Congress -- the cooperation that got this legislation done in record time -- is fleeting. They're bound to be at each others' throats in a couple of minutes. Or in January. Whenever.