Payroll Tax Cut Showdown: Obama Asks ‘What $40 Means to You’

Republicans and Democrats are in a standoff over extending the payroll tax cut, with just days left for Jan. 1, when a tax increase takes effect for 160 million Americans.
House Republicans have refused to accept a compromise with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and President Obama.  This week the GOP-led House refused to accept a Senate version of the bill, which passed with 89 votes and the support of all but seven Republicans.
The bill extends the payroll tax cut for two months, with the intention of hashing out a longer extension after the holidays.
The White House has fired back, inviting public feedback through the administration’s Twitter hashtag (#40dollars) and its Facebook page.
“What does $40 mean to you?” the White House website is asking
If Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut, the typical family making $50,000 a year will have about $40 less to spend or save with each paycheck, the administration said. Over one year, that’s about $1,000.
“Opponents of the payroll tax cut dismiss its impact by insisting $40 isn’t a lot of money, but that’s not the case for many families who are already working hard to make ends meet,” reads the White House website.
Those commenting on the administration’s Facebook page answered the question, while others attacked both political parties.
Here’s a sampling of comments:
“One or two weeks of heat for the house, depending on the season.”
“I give myself $60 in cash as my ‘allowance.’ To try saving money, I’ve been taking out cash and using it more than plastic. So I guess I’ll be down to $20 per week in 2012.”
“The co-pay for just one of my medications.”
“Either a week’s worth of groceries or a tank of gas to get back and forth to work. I gotta eat, but I gotta go to work. So, I guess I just eat less, and less, and less…”
“So if I remember correctly the hypothetical was $40.00 per paycheck for people making 50,000 per year, if that is correct then the Democrats want to give a person making 50,000 per year, $320.00 over a period of two months. I’d rather have the Republicans tax break for a year.”
“Millionaire Republicans are going home laughing at the Middle Class and calling you suckers!”

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