Today the House passed the bill to extend the payroll tax reduction through the end of the year. I voted against it.
I generally favor reducing the amount of money the government takes from us. This particular tax, however, is dedicated solely to the Social Security Trust Fund, which is already in financial trouble. Not cutting other spending in order to offset the loss to the Trust Fund means that Social Security will be even more dependent on IOUs to meet its obligations. It also adds about $90 billion to this year's deficit.
There are some good things in this bill. We must prevent Medicare payments to doctors from being cut 27%. Beginning to reform unemployment payments by reducing the number of weeks and allowing states to require drug testing in certain situations are good steps. The bill cuts some money from Obamacare. But on balance, it is not a measure that I can endorse.