Like most things, the issue of extending the payroll tax cuts is used as a political football by both sides of the aisle in Washington. The strange scenario now foisted upon is that President Obama lauds the extension of the cuts, which forces him and the Democrat Party to acknowledge the benefit of tax relief for some while “paying for” the extensions with new taxes on the “rich” (euphemistically called “surcharges”).
We are subject to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”, but Christians and openness-loving people everywhere should take the opportunity to question the method of extracting taxes via payroll deductions itself.
It should be obvious to each citizen or family how much is being paid to Caesar (the national government). Payroll taxes obscure the fact by deducting a fraction of the yearly total from each paycheck. Sure, the amounts deducted are listed on the stubs, but no one really pays much attention to those things. Payroll tax deductions should be banned altogether, and each citizen should be required to write a check annually, semi-annually, or quarterly for the amounts previously deducted for FICA, Social Security and so forth.
If everyone had to write a check for their bill to the national government — as well all do to the power company, the cell phone company and the mortgage company or landlord — it is not difficult to imagine a much different sentiment about taxes in general and how much Caesar should take.
We should note, too, that suggestions to “pay for” payroll tax cut extensions by taking more from the “rich” presumes that tax relief is good for all but them, and that there is no other way to “pay for” diminished tax revenues filling government coffers, such as, say, reductions in spending.