Payroll Taxes: A Growing Concern

You think corporations are paying their fair share on taxes? Keep this in mind…in 1969 payroll taxes and federal income taxes accounted for almost the same share of revenue going to our government. Today individuals make up 6 times the amount of corporate taxes. Still think its fair?Tax reform needs to focus on balancing the share of revenue that comes from each source.

Since the 1970’s payroll taxes have almost doubled until they reached about 2/5 of the federal revenue collected. This rise surpassed the single largest source of revenue for the federal government in 2009.

These types of taxes pay for the things individual citizens love the most including Social Security and Medicare. With these types of cuts being on the table the pressure is building to find a solution for the fiscal cliff we soon face.
So what is the problem here? Since 1970 disability recipients in the US has increased 600% of what they were in the 70’s. This bubble has led to expenses to exceed revenues by almost thirty four billion dollars. You may be aware of this intensifying welfare nation status quo and with this costs are on the rise. The number of baby boomers retiring and the number of still unemployed cast a shadow of doubt on whether or not these programs are financially viable in the long term.
Even worse health care costs are spiraling out of control and with the new advent of Obamacare who knows what will happen to the cost curves. If something isn’t done in the health sector soon to reign in costs Medicare as we know it will be in jeopardy.
Payroll taxes are regressive and only paid on income up to $110,000. Payroll taxes are also not paid on capital gains or passive income. Because of this regressive model payroll tax cuts tend to benefit the poor and middle class more than they do the wealthy and typically pack more a stimulus punch than other typical income tax cut strategies.

Something needs to be done and no one is stepping up to the plate. The AARP and other social groups show little support for any types of cuts to programs that may jeopardize the social safety net for those most in need. Their argument is that these types of programs help balance the inequality faced by the income classes in our nation.

Of course if you tampered with these payroll taxes and delinked them from the programs they support the government would have to find other sources of revenue to make up any shortfalls that may exist. We can do this by limiting the tax breaks on the wealthy or even revising the tax code to bring in more revenue thereby allowing us to retain and fund some of these programs our most desperate individuals rely on. Other ideas include implementing a carbon tax or a use tax that would disproportionately effect the wealthy and increase revenue generated by the federal government.

With the rising cost of technology in the health care industry and a lack of skilled labor cost will become an issue in the near future. This is one trend we face in the future. Are you ready to face that future?