This should be the first in a series. Wait until these poor bastards start have to paying $20,000 a family to start for their free ObamaCare. Still, curiously missing from this story is the name of the man responsible for this massive tax hike.
Like millions of other Americans, they are feeling the bite from the sharp increase in payroll taxes that took effect at the beginning of January. There are growing signs that the broader economy is suffering, too.
Chain-store sales have weakened over the course of the month. And two surveys released last week suggested that consumer confidence was eroding, especially among lower-income Americans.
While these data points are preliminary — more detailed statistics on retail sales and other trends will not be available until later this month — at street level, the pain from the expiration of a two-percentage-point break in Social Security taxes in 2011 and 2012 is plain to see.
“You got to stretch what you got,” said Mr. Phillips, 51, a front-desk clerk and maintenance man for a nonprofit housing group who earned $22,000 last year. “That little $20 or $30 affects you, especially if you’re just making enough money to stay above water.” So he has taken to juggling bills, skipping a payment on one this month and another next month.
“I’m playing catch-up each month,” he said. “You go to the supermarket and you can’t spend what you used to.”
Jack Andrews has it slightly better than Mr. Phillips. He earns a bit more than $40,000 a year manufacturing ceramics in a local factory, but because his wife, Cindy, is disabled, he is the sole breadwinner. Something had to give now that he is earning about $800 less a year, or $66 a month, and it was the couple’s monthly night out.
“It’s just gotten out of reach,” Mr. Andrews said.
But hey, at least they’re paying their fair share now and those evil “rich” people are getting socked.
Of course, taxes are going up on wealthier Americans, too, with a rise in marginal rates on income above $400,000 for individuals and higher taxes on capital gains and dividends. But millions of individual decisions by poorer Americans in Medford, Augusta, Harlem and elsewhere are quickly adding up.
Funny how Obama didn’t mention any of this during the campaign, huh? Another casualty? Obama voters are now eating less healthy.
Ms. Price, 20, whose annual income is $15,000 to $16,000, prefers shopping at Whole Foods, the upscale supermarket chain, which is healthier but more expensive. But since the payroll tax went up, she has been going more often to Publix and Walmart.
“The food that has a lot of fat and food coloring is cheaper,” she said. “It’s a lot more expensive to eat healthier. But now I’m actually looking at the price tag on things rather than grabbing them.”