Who’s Cash Is It Anyway?

Politicans seem to have forgotten how generosity works

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Avery Heinen

The American public has been told for nearly a year now that if Joe Biden was the president, he would be able to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. Two of his big ideas were to first, put in place a national mask mandate, and second, provide enoughstimulus money to keep working class Americans afloat until they are given permission to return to work. Now that he is President Biden, the country is waiting with baited breath to see if he truly can bring the pandemic to a swift end. The President has been talking about his proposal for the ‘American Rescue Plan’, a $1.9 trillion package meant to ease the burden of the pandemic. Unfortunately for us all, even if the funds are distributed exactly as the President plans them to be, people can’t expect to see significant changes in their communities. .

Last March, a $3 trillion relief package was rolled out. One could easily be forgiven for forgetting all about it, considering how little difference it made on a country-wide scale. It’s no wonder that Senate Republicans were reluctant to pass another multi-trillion dollar relief package. Now that they no longer have the Senate majority, it will be interesting to see how many ineffective relief bills are passed through Congress within the year. It would be beneficial for our brave new leaders to pass as many as possible so they can pretend that they’re oh-so altruistic and honorable. Unfortunately, to be altruistic requires a certain level of selflessness, and if there is one thing politicians are not, it’s selfless. President Biden and his new Democrat-run Congress like to act as if they’re generously giving this money to people in need. It’s anything but generous. They’re returning money that they took from working class Americans and expecting those same Americans to view them as heroes. 

President Biden’s assertion that only Americans making more than $400,000 a year need be concerned about his proposed tax hikes makes a pretty number for those in favor of his plan to point to. There’s a reason macroeconomics is a topic of study: any changes to the economy have wide reaching effects. Whilst it is clear that this is all intended to redistribute funds from the big bad billionaire, they will not be the ones hit hardest by this. The lion’s share of the increased tax revenue would go towards Social Security, which is a payroll tax. The ultra wealthy, however, do not make the majority of their money via a payroll. For example, the current CEO of the Alphabet Company, Sundar Pichai, was given a $242 million dollar pay package when he took over the job. A payroll tax like Social Security would be deducted from Mr. Pichai’s annual salary, not his pay package. His salary? $2 million a year. The rest is in stock options. Biden’s proposed payroll tax would apply to less than 1% of that $242 million dollars.

If you take a look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of the occupations with the highest annual salaries, the top 10 all require a degree from a medical school. These professionals went through over a decade of school, paid hundreds of thousands in tuition, and spent countless hours perfecting their technique before they even got to the point where they earned all that much. Once they do, according to the American College of Surgeons, that doctor will work an average of 50-60 hours per week, not including on call time. 

Another group that gets the short end of the stick on payroll taxes is the small business owner. A traditional employee pays 6.2% in Social Security tax and their employer pays the other half. Your local family restaurant owner or friendly neighbor with his own plumbing business,have to pay both halves. Any tax hike you see on your payroll taxes is going to hit them twice as hard.

That cash Biden wants to spend isn’t his. It doesn’t even belong to the plutocrats. No, that cash belongs to some of the hardest working people in your community, and the harder they work, the more they pay. It really is the perfect way to de-incentivize diligence and ambition.