POLITICS - Trust me on this — while our leader Antonio the Magnificent was partying with the ambisexual Charlie Sheen in Cabo San Lucas, the pleasure of his holiday was nothing compared to the good time that was had by all in Washington.
If you have ever spent an all-night session with filibustering and philandering politicians under great duress — with the world teetering on the edge of a fiscal cliff that could take us all down — you know what goes on.
The sex, the booze, the bags of money and favors that exchange hands — it’s a party like nothing the likes of most of us ever get to experience. Thrilling to the point it makes it all worthwhile to have to come back to Washington and be unable to ring in the New Year with the irrelevant rubes back home.
It’s not so easy for a Senator or a Congressman to really party down among the local folks but in the nation’s capital, who’s to see, who’s to say, who’s to judge a politician spending a lot of time with a girl friend or a boy friend.
You know these people weren’t really working. Their enormous staffs do the work. They were kibitzing and drinking and figuring out all the angles so they the Republicans can still maintain they are fighting tax increases and willing to go to hell and back to gut Social Security and Medicare to stop the deficit from going any higher.
For their part, the President and the Democrats can boast they saved the nation from tumbling into the fiscal abyss by raising the income tax rate on the new rich and even a few of the old rich.
But the truth is very different: More than three of every four taxpayers will pay more in federal taxes in 2013 than in 2012.
The non-partisan Tax Policy Institute reports the main reason is workers’ share of the Social Security — the payroll tax — will jump from 4.5 to 6.5 percent where it was before the recession. And take note the affluent stop paying the payroll tax at $110,000 so it is as regressive a tax as there is.
“More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635,” according to Bloomberg News.
The heaviest new burdens in 2013, compared with 2012, would fall on top earners, who would face higher rates on income, capital gains, dividends and estates. The top 1 percent of taxpayers, or those with incomes over $506,210, would pay an average of $73,633 more in taxes.”
For the average person, the Obamacare taxes — five different taxes that include cutting the flexible spending account limit from $5,000 to $2,500 a year — will cost just about everybody more money.
It certainly doesn’t end there. With estimates of the federal deficit — at its legal maximum now — expected to soar by $4 trillion in the decade, a 25 percent leap, and the issue put off for two months, you can bet your bottom dollar that the war of words without meaning and principles without courage on both sides of the aisle will intensify again soon.
Trust me once more: Rational discussion and debate will have no place in the crisis atmosphere they will create as a smokescreen for what is really going on behind the scenes.
Party on, Washington, party on!
(Ron Kaye is the former editor of the Daily News and founder of the Saving LA Project, SLAP. Contact him at [email protected] )
Vol 11 Issue 2
Pub: Jan 4, 2013