Republicans must end Orwellian FICA tax blindness


Debt ceiling battle exposes the lie of those that claim most low income Americans don’t pay federal income taxes

File under the category that a rose by any other name smells as sweet

Outside Martha’s Vineyard, Americans are suffering the natural result of super-majority Democratic Party economic policies. Natural Law and history compel the expectation of one party Republican rule in Washington after next year’s elections, but only GOP super-majorities would have the power to repeal ObamaCare and other anti-job creation policies passed the first two years of President Barack Obama’s Administration.

One way to ensure that conservatives will not maximize their opportunity to duplicate the historic 2010 Republican landslide is to antagonize lower income workers generally favorable to the Democrats by continuing to insult their intelligence by insisting that they “don’t pay any federal income taxes.”

Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity et al need to cease and desist from their semantic game, especially after the debt ceiling battle exposed the Social Security Trust Fund as a fiction and before the expected debate on tax reform begins as a means to avoid the sequestration of national defense when the Super-Committee is inevitably deadlocked on Thanksgiving Day.

Yes, presidents and congresses since the 1980s have incrementally exempted more and more income from federal income taxes. But the federal government taxes every dollar earned by low income workers under the “FICA”, i.e. Social Security rubric (as well as Medicare) and commingles those dollars with the “Federal Income Tax” dollars and other government receipts (and borrowed funds) to pay for all domestic and defense spending as well as Social Security payments.

There simply is no difference between the two and it is long past time for Republicans to quit talking out of both sides of their mouth on the issue.

Money taken out of one’s paycheck by Washington is no less taken out by differences in labeling. Those that continue to do so insult the working poor and qualify as Gore Lock Box Know Nothings.

Yes, those low income workers that receive Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) in excess of FICA taxes would accurately be characterized as paying no federal income tax, but that population is many times smaller than low income workers that are net federal income tax payers, whatever the nomenclature.

Surviving Post-Martha’s Vineyard America through the end of the Age of Obama

Despite the Vacationer-in-Chief’s promise to wield a job-creating shovel after the Dog Days of August, we understand the very long odds of the enactment of policies conducive to economic recovery so long as The One Who Puts the National Interest First deems those advancing such policies as traitors.

However, the deep and widespread suffering of millions of Americans and the defense sequestration train wreck scheduled for November make it imperative that Republicans try to reach a compromise with ObamaPatriot.

The Super Committee formed pursuant to the Debt Ceiling deal will almost surely deadlock, thus ensuring draconian cuts to national defense, unless real tax reform favored by the GOP can satisfy Democrats need for a class warfare talking point. Should we embark upon that course, I hope that Republicans will recognize the regressive FICA tax as the federal income tax that it is.

Real tax reform that would increase revenues would entail the lowering of income, corporate and capital gains tax rates in exchange for the elimination of tax subsidies. We would hope that deductions for mortgage interest, medical costs and charity remain intact.

The Republican Party has long been the party of the working man, if that mantra is defined as advancing policies that actually increase the number of people with jobs allowed to keep more of the fruits of their labor. It is high time that they tout this fact and adopt the rhetoric that can combat the class warfare of the Democrats, rather than running campaigns as if they were applying for jobs as CPAs.

It is not the politics of envy for the GOP to point out that our policies help lower income Americans, as well as all the rest. It will be much easier to do so if we stop repeating the fiction that federal FICA income taxes are not federal income taxes.

Mike DeVine

Editor – Hillbilly Politics

Co-Founder and Editor – Political Daily

Atlanta Law & Politics columnist –

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

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Mike gamecock DeVine
A trial lawyer for two decades in South Carolina; owner of Ati Vista LLC since 2002 now associated with Lupa Law Firm; VP & Counsel for Buddy Allen Roofing & Construction Inc. since 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia; and a freelance writer, DeVine was the conservative voice of the Charlotte Observer from 2006-8 and has been the owner of since 2009.

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August 20, 2011 11:20 am

I am on your side on this one. The hyperbole by the right about over 50% of Americans don’t pay taxes is just as awful as the hyperbole of the left that the rich are not paying enough taxes. The truth in both cases has to do with a much smaller number of Americans using tax credits and tax deductions and tax loop holes. I am not like Grover Norquist and demanding that any tax reform must be revenue neutral. I am also not like the far left who think that raising taxes fixes everything. Anything they do will only… Read more »

Queen Hotchibobo
August 20, 2011 3:17 pm

Some people get more than 100% back with the EITC.

And the thing that makes me the craziest about the EITC? Why do we select people with kids and say that they should get their FICA tax back, but a guy without kids gets screwed? It makes no sense.

August 20, 2011 4:42 pm

Mike, I’m not sure how to respond to this. On one hand, we do need to address how economic redistribution is applied via our tax code. It’s long past time for our nation to start addressing this issue honestly. OTOH, we do need to keep in mind that this is likely to scare the wits out of those who are dependent on our welfare system for their survival. I’m not sure where the middle of the road is, so to speak, but I don’t think avoiding the issue will help us to resolve it. BTW, for those who think EIC… Read more »

redneck hippie
August 20, 2011 8:28 pm

I do not see how continuing to use the 50% pay no income taxes will be of use to us going forward. For every pundit or broadcaster who says this, the person on their left says, that is wrong because FICA is a federal tax on payroll earnings. A better way forward is to concentrate on inflation, unemployment, foreclosures and the loss of our health care system. IOW socialism’s failures. The collectivists are rope a doping us into the mirror image of their class warfare. They want the rich to pay and they think we want the poor to pay.… Read more »

August 21, 2011 11:11 am

While I usually find myself in agreement with GC, on this topic I will demur.

Messaging is all about who controls the language (eg. Pro-Choice/anti-abortion rights vs Pro-life/Pro-Abortion). I will not cede this ground until the Left stops caterwauling about the “rich” not paying their fair share.

I believe that we can turn this into a ‘two-fer’ for our side – we can dispose of the myth that job creators aren’t paying their fair share whilst simultaneously pointing out that the SS emperor is wearing no clothes.

More later (to coin a phrase from our esteemed Dispatcher 🙂