Our production deadlines have me drafting this column prior to the outcome of the 2012 elections. Regardless of how the races turn out, the promises made, the twisting of the facts, the compelling arguments, the money spent and how you chose to vote, one thing is for sure it’s clear we’ve got much to do in the way of the people’s business and no time to waste rolling up our sleeves getting down to work.
Top on the list, regardless of the outcome of the Presidential election, it appears that 163 million American workers can expect a big increase in the taxes taken out of their paychecks come January. The temporary reduction in Social Security payroll taxes is due to expire at the end of 2012. Neither the Obama nor the Romney camps proposed an extension, both steering clear of any blame for increased taxes come 2013. Neither party feels the payroll tax holiday, put in place two years ago that was intended to be a temporary shot in the arm for the economy, has done much to stimulate the sluggish economy.
Providing cover for the Social Security reduction is the bigger question surrounding the future of the Bush-Era tax cuts which also expire at the end of 2012. Couple that with the pending sequestration due to take effect in 2013 and it’s clear that the government can no longer sugar coat the medicine. We must face and accept the reality of our financial crisis very soon. At the end of the day it’s time to suck it up and deal with these issues. On the fairy tale campaign trail politicians can always find creative ways to avoid answering the tough issues, and twist the truth as to who to blame, but once the election dust settles those left standing really should have no choice but to address these issues.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press. Email him at email@example.com.