The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

“Payroll Tax Cut”—Paid for by Working People

Feb 20, 2012

Politicians from both parties are trumpeting the deal to extend the “payroll tax holiday” as a tremendous boon to working people. It’s a complete smokescreen!

The deal, which is said to “extend” unemployment benefits, actually cuts the maximum number of weeks unemployed workers can receive benefits from 99 weeks to 73 weeks in a few states, and to only 63 in most states.

This is how the politicians extend unemployment benefits–by cutting them!

Bad enough–but then they pretend they have to “pay” for the unemployment extension by cutting the pay of federal government workers. New federal hires will be forced to contribute 2.3% of their paychecks to their pension fund, up from 0.8%.

They also claim to be saving federal payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients, and then use that as a pretext to cut preventive medicine and public health programs.

Hidden in the bill, they made a great big gift to the phone companies by giving them government owned broadcast frequencies. They say the companies will have to pay for them, but they’re giving them away for practically free.

And of course workers who today get a little bit more in their paychecks will also see their Social Security benefits cut, in all likelihood, when the politicians come back–after the election–and point to the shortfall in the Social Security fund caused by these so-called “tax cuts”!

It’s nothing but more election year sleight-of-hand, designed to convince us to give these clowns our votes–and keep quiet!