Saturday, January 17, 2004


It's really quite fascinating that Grover "Estate Tax is like the Holocaust" Norquist would be opposed to a reduction in the payroll tax. Given what we think we know about what motivates him, I honestly find it slightly strange. Only slightly, maybe, and maybe only that because I give him too much credit, but I would've thought Grover would've leapt at the opportunity to starve the Social Security beast. Sure, the suggested proposal would repay any losses out of general revenue, but that's just an accounting trick on top of an accounting trip which could easily be removed. But, perhaps Grover's pathological hatred of government is simply outmatched by his desire to help his rich buddies.

Remember, SS taxes are 6.25% of payroll (paid by employee) up to $87,000 of income. Given current marginal tax rates, this means that single filers who make between $68K and $87K are paying a higher marginal tax rate than those making between $143K and $311K. This discounts the employer contribution, the effect of which can't be simply stated but nonetheless effects the employee wage as well.

Not quite as obscene as the Bush I era middle class tax "bubble," but still pretty sad. Factor in all the high income tax shelters...

But, back to Grover. One would like to think that as a true believer his goal would be to decrease government revenue any way possible. I'm almost disappointed in the dude.