Americans Still Upset About Smaller Paychecks Post “Fiscal Cliff”


It’s unfair that a “greedy” Congress take more out of paychecks, according to outraged Americans.

Gabriella Hoffman’s paycheck is a little lighter today, thanks to a payroll tax increase that is forcing millions of Americans to make the kind of tough budget cuts their representatives in Washington lawmakers seem unwilling to tackle.

Hoffman, a 21-year-old Virginian who works at a nonprofit, estimates her paycheck will be roughly $30 less this biweekly pay period, or about $780 annually, thanks to the end of a two-year cut on payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The tax has risen back up to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent, costing someone making $50,000 annually about $1,000 per year and a household with two high-paid workers up to $4,500.

“As a newly-graduated person, someone coming straight out of college, I don’t like the idea of having less money coming to me due to the selfish interests of people in Congress who don’t have any interest in reducing our financial problems,” Hoffman told “This is an impediment for future economic growth. It’s going to make it harder for young people like myself to get married, find a better job, you name it.”

I’m no fan of increasing taxes, but I’ve pointed out before that the sticker shock of these tax hikes may serve to wake Americans up to just how much government is costing them. How much Social Security, specifically, is costing them.

Because that’s where these tax hikes are going. Obama’s payroll tax reductions were always a bad idea, not because lowering tax burdens is a bad idea, but because Social Security is a program already running a deficit and with only the fiscal fiction of IOU’s the government has issued itself as a safety net. These tax hikes worsened Social Security’s solvency, but now that taxes have gone back up they’re hitting Americans who desperately need that money in their paychecks now.

Which underscores something conservatives have been arguing for years: Money is best left in the pockets of citizens, rather than squirreled away in government. Perhaps that is a lesson more Americans are growing to understand.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • slapdick

    My paycheck is lighter, too. It kind of sucks, but Social Security is in bad financial shape as you pointed out. While I agree with the principle of people keeping more of their money, the young lady seems to be ignorant of history and prone to drama. We were paying this rate of Social Security for many years, until a brief reduction just a couple of years ago. Perhaps she believes Social Security withholding just began in 2011, and has now been increased. Maybe that is the case for her personally if she has only recently entered the work force after college. And going back to the previous Social Security withholding rate will make it harder for her to get married and find a better job? I’m also a college graduate (business major) but I just don’t understand that logic. It sounds like a load of drama, and perhaps an excuse for a victim mentality. Perhaps some of the SAB mental giants can help me figure it out.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    They voted for it. Tough luck. Next time pay attention

  • Thresherman

    She trusted the Democrats when they lied to and now she is upset. If she is smart, she won’t do it again but a lot of people seem to be stupid that way.

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    I haven’t been paid yet this year, so I’m still waiting to find out how much lighter my check is.

    The good point about this is that many people are entirely unaware how much money is taken out for taxes. By taking it out pre-tax, they never feel the pain of losing the money. That’s why unions want their money taken directly out of the paycheck. The worker doesn’t feel the cost. This will make people feel the sting.

    So how long will it last? My concern is that we will feel the pain for a moment and then it will be forgotten by the time we vote. Moreover, neither party is offering many worthy candidates. Even the informed voter is left with little choice.

    Good people need to run for office, but most of the good people will not run.

  • $16179444

    oh well, you clowns voted for this. own it.

  • kevindf

    Ponzi schemes are annoying to those at the bottom of the pyramid.

    • Spartacus

      Wait until these young ObamAA- voters are seeing 10 to 12 percent or more of their wages going toward our Soc. Sec. checks and even more spent on our health care. It’s going to be fun to tell them “told you so back in the 00’s and 10’s, BUT NO, that liberal agenda you supported was the greatest thing since horse sh!t”.

  • camsaure

    And here everyone thought that everyone elses taxs would go up but theirs. Wecome to reality and the lies of liberalism.

  • Snarkie

    Americans upset about smaller paychecks.

    Shouldn’t have started all those wars you used to love so much, eh?

    • donwalk

      Not even including the past two years!
      Political, January 1, 2010
      President Barack Obama’s new budget, to be released Monday, forecasts two
      consecutive years of near $160 billion in war funding, far more than he hoped
      when elected and only modestly less than the last years of the Bush

      In 2011 alone, the revised numbers are triple what the president included in
      his spending plan a year ago. And the strain shows itself in new deficit
      projections, already hobbled by lagging revenues due to the weak economy.

      August 22, 2010
      Iraq: The War That Broke Us — Not
      By Randall Hoven, American Thinker

      According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost is $709 billion. The sum of all the deficits from 2003 through 2010 is $4.73 trillion. Subtract the
      entire Iraq War cost and you still have a sum of $4.02 trillion. No one will
      say that $709 billion is not a lot of money. But first, that was spread over
      eight years.
      Based on the government’s own figures.
      •Obama’s stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the
      entire Iraq War — more than $100 billion (15%) more.
      •Just the first two years of Obama’s stimulus cost more than the entire cost of
      the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war.
      •Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it
      •Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame.
      •Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time
      frame. The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-point-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War.
      •The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public
      at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).
      [Data sources: All data for 2009 and later are from the CBO’s recent budget

  • Oswaldo

    Payroll taxes, like income taxes, are nothing new. We tried tax cuts and they screwed up our economy. So, now we need to get back to serious economic policy. Set taxes back to where they were before the Republican screw-up. And stop the spending cuts. We need more government spending for the construction and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure such as highways, bridges, dams and other public facilities. The more we spend, the more jobs we create. Let’s not put the cart before the horse. Do what is feasible short-term (spend more, create jobs now) and worry less about what is constructive only in the longer-term. Rhetorical, ideology-driven arguments about spending cuts, the holy deficit and the troubles we face in the future are all well and good but should not be the central focus of economic policy during a recession. Create jobs fast, now. Deal with debt and deficit issues, of course, but do so gradually and later.

    • Rob

      We tried tax cuts and they screwed up our economy.

    • ndoldman

      You ever wonder how the D(umb)F(u**ing)L(iberal) party choose the Jack-ass as their moniker as you would think if it was the farmer part most farmers know it takes more donkeys pulling the cart than rideing in it. It is for the low info voters.

    • donwalk

      “The more we spend, the more jobs we create.”
      Then Obama should have everyone employed by now.
      June, 2012
      President Barack Obama is the biggest spender in the history of the world. Obama has consistently been in denial about his reckless spending addiction. Despite President Barack Obama’s denials, though, an analysis by Forbes shows there has not been a greater spender than Obama.

      According to Forbes, “Obama’s own fiscal 2013 budget … shows federal spending increasing from $2.983 trillion in 2008 to an all time record $3.796 trillion in 2012, an increase of 27.3%” and, “before Obama there had never been a deficit anywhere near $1 trillion.”

      In addition, Obama had four consecutive budget deficits of over a trillion
      dollars and, in just one term, will “will have increased the national debt as
      much as all prior Presidents, from George Washington to George Bush, combined.”

  • ndoldman

    the problem is Obama never lied He said the middle class will not see their taxes go up as much as a dime…………….. what he didn’t say is they are going up a hell of a lot more, its what is not being said and Alinski said you have to distroy the middle class. wake up people.