2013 AC: Where's Our Money?

Did you see a difference in your first paycheck of 2013? Do you even know where your money is going? Take a closer look at what "saved" us from the fiscal cliff.

So, how much less is your paycheck in 2013 A.C.? (after the cliff).  Aren’t you already sick of that phrase?  I know I am. Even more sick of the waste and bogus promises from all our voices  in Congress.  Wasn’t this bill supposed to just raise taxes for the $400 K plus income earners? 

No increase in payroll taxes for the middle class—that’s what the President said.  Really?  So,  I must be imagining that $15 a week  I don’t have anymore.  For me, that's three days of groceries or a week's worth of gas.  And, now that those of us who earn $40, 30, 20, even $10K a year are paying higher taxes,  will we see an improvement in government services that we actually use or benefit from?   

Remember the first stimulus package?  When our tax dollars were used to support projects like how cocaine-addicted monkeys are affected by a particular neurotransmitter??   I also remember a research project funded by that same package to study “hookup” patterns on college campuses.  Can any of us really afford to finance these idiotic research initiatives?   Many people are having to decide whether to put gas in their car or food on their table. 

Why are we supporting $78 million in tax breaks for the owners of NASCAR auto racing tracks as well as $248 million in tax credits for the Hollywood film industry!  Yep.  That’s part of the bill that saved us from going over the fiscal cliff.   Meanwhile, many Long Islanders are still recovering financially and emotionally from Hurricane Sandy.  Where's their money?

I was astounded and infuriated when I saw what was included in the Sandy Relief bill.   Here's just a sample:

■ $13 billion for large (undefined)  infrastructure projects that
we are assured would “mitigate” damage from future storms.

■ $10.8 billion for public transportation, almost entirely for future projects, not disaster relief.

■ $207 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Manhattan Medical Center.

■ $199 million in tax breaks for rum makers.

■ $188 million for upgrading, not repairing, Amtrak rail lines.

■ $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide fisheries in Alaska.

■ $100 million for a federal day-care program.

■ $57 million for tracking debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

■ $20 million for a national “water priorities” study.

My favorite is the $199 million in tax breaks for rum makers.  Are they kidding?  Did all the rum maker equipment get destroyed by the hurricane?  Why isn’t that money going to the Staten Island residents who had their homes and lives destroyed?  

As for the actual fiscal cliff compromise bill (aka American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012), there are so many other solutions Congress could have pursued—none of which would have hurt the middle class taxpayers.    The bill itself is so cryptic and bloated with jargon (aren’t they all, by design?), I had to ask several experts to explain it to me.  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr8/text.   And there are inconsistencies galore—the wealthy are paying more, yet there are lots of tax breaks for corporations (but, don’t the wealthy own corporations?), so who’s paying for those tax breaks? 

WE ARE!  Of course the people who really depend on the government may benefit from this bill, but the people who are just eking by without government assistance will get slammed. 

How does this bill affect you, your family, your business?   Are you feeling the pinch yet?  Do you agree/disagree with the "compromise" ?  What would you have done differently?   I fear this is only the beginning.  Pretty soon we'll all depend on the government because they'll have taken all the money we earned on our own.  All of us need to stay informed and take action when we can.  Can't wait 'til 2014. 



This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Paul Kersey January 11, 2013 at 04:34 PM
"Pretty soon we'll all depend on the government" That is a feature, not a bug.
Carol Anthony January 11, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Very funny, Paul--love the tech reference!
Justin Time January 14, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Unfortunately, we are looking at the sleezy way government works! Its like a hungry rat, waiting for food, and at the first sight of a "crumb", it pounces..hence all the add-ons Sad and greedy world we live in. Just like our local property taxes, held at 3%, but no cuts in wages, benefits or staff. Shame on us!


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