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Obama: Pass the Payroll Tax Cut or the Kid Dies

by Keith Koffler on February 16, 2012, 10:14 am

The White House is painting an extreme scenario of dire circumstances if Congress fails to extend the payroll tax holiday until the end of the year, suggesting a young girl could die if Republicans block the legislation.

A White House website blog post – written before this morning’s deal to extend the tax cut – includes a comment by a mother who suggests that losing the benefit could cost her daughter’s life.

From the White House website:

At the end of this month, a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut will expire. If Congress doesn’t act, taxes will go up on 160 million hardworking Americans.

For a family making about $50,000 a year, the payroll tax cut amounts to about $1,000 a year, or about $40 in every paycheck. When the payroll tax cut was initially set to expire last December, we asked Americans to tell us what that $40 meant to them and their family . . .

These are some of their stories:

“$40 a paycheck means I have to choose which medication my daughter takes gets put off, and not like something simple we are talking choice or life or death. My daughter is a liver transplant [patient] and is waiting for another transplant. That money is needed to keep her alive until I can get another job since I just graduated college too. For few that money isn’t important for us it means not losing a family member, keeping our jobs, or feeding the family.”  — Heather from Texas

The White House often uses stories of “real people” to illustrate the effects of policies, but holding out the prospect that $40 per paycheck could mean the death of a young girl is an exceptionally harsh tactic that also strains credulity.

If the White House is truly concerned about this child’s case and wants to help her – as opposed to using her for political purposes – it should put on the White House website a link on which people can click so they can donate to the family or an address to which they can send money.

A big tip of the hat to Josh Gerstein of Politico, who found this item.

{ 1 trackback }


anneinarkansas February 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

Sickening…this WH will stoop the lowes levels possible.

pianogirl88 February 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

My adjunct teaching position in a State liberal arts college pays about $20,000 per year. I don’t make enough to “qualify” for the deduction in FICA payroll taxes, and I’d love to have an extra $40 per check to help pay for the increase in gas that is the fault of this administration. Actually, I maintain that probably 99.9% of those who are getting this “gift” would not be adversely affected by not getting the tax “break”.

Just2old February 16, 2012 at 10:50 am

You are correct PG88. If they would work on getting the gas prices down to what they were when the one took office 2009….we wouldn’t need this payroll tax cut. We need that money going into the Social Security system.
This administration is a disgrace.

Star February 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Doesn’t that mean you have to make $50K to get the whole $40 but you still get a cut in FICA at any amt of salary, right? Just not $40.

pianogirl88 February 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Thanks, Star…I just went back through Quicken and checked. There was so little difference that I didn’t even notice it. I am getting a whopping $6 per pay period extra in my check. In the 13 years that I’ve taught at the college my cost for gas fill-ups has gone from $10 per round trip to over $21 per round trip, three days per week. I would much rather have the lower gas prices and let the money that should be going into the SS fund go there.

blondie February 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

Maybe the President should decree that her medication be free intead of birth control pills.

Star February 16, 2012 at 11:07 am

Interesting point.

Jack February 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

great point! Life threatening issues first, right? but instead they are using third world political tactics. It makes me sick.

Mike C February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm

yes, life threatening vs. life giving

Car in February 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

I’m calling bs on that story. The child would be covered by medicaid, I believe.

Robin H February 16, 2012 at 10:39 am

Beat me to it. I can’t imagine that Texas has no provisions for children’s health care.

It reminds me of the people’s stories he told when he was demonizing the insurance companies when they were ramming ObamaCare down our throats. They can say anything they want but due to privacy laws the insurance companies cannot legally respond with facts. I’d like a real name attached to this story to be verified.

Mike C February 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm

yes, but I never heard too much more from that lady screaming about ‘he will take care of my mortgages, he will take care of my life’ and fell down fainting

Wigglesworth February 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Obama lied about his own mother’s health insurance so it wouldn’t surprise me if he is stretching the truth here.

Star February 16, 2012 at 10:40 am

Oh good grief. The gun to the head of the cocker spaniel again. Anti-rejection drugs are way more than $40. If the child is getting a transplant, she must be on Medicaid. How can they do this with a straight face… Extend it or don’t–but don’t even try to play us.

mad as ever February 16, 2012 at 10:40 am

it would not be in the interest of the wh to put a link to donate to this poor child because democrats don’t donate very much to charity, they think the government should do it.

i watched o’reily last night and i’m beginning to think that he’s right, people of the usa want a nanny state and there’s almost nothing that we can do to change that!!

Mike C February 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm

hes, but he can’t say the truth on TV. The peop;e who built it are suffering from them who cam to suck off the teat off the success. Like the Lioness who lets a little kitten join in, and then it turns into feral cats and kills her

DeniseVB February 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

Bless that child’s heart, I wish her well and a full recovery. BUT, if she’s a liver transplant patient, and her family is agonizing over $40 meaning life and death, we, the taxpayers are probably already subsidizing her medical expenses.

I’d love for Politico track down “Heather in Texas”, find out how her child is doing and let us know how we can help them.

Star February 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I don’t think anybody but Warren (Charge Me More, Please) Buffett can foot transplant bills without insurance or assistance.

gobnait February 16, 2012 at 10:50 am

I think Obama has a file of generic hard-luck stories, penned by his speechwriters and/or the same Disney screenwriters who wrote Bambi, from which he may select to accompany each speech. Only the names have to be changed to protect the non-existent.

Star February 16, 2012 at 11:05 am

The Bambi screenwriters killed Bambi’s Mom (spoiler, sorry), so brace yourselves…

DeniseVB February 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I still haven’t gotten over that scene :(

Star February 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm

That is where PTSD starts….

gobnait February 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Sure didn’t mean to stir up traumatic memories but you get my point. Throw in a heart-ripping element to every story for maximum impact. Obama knows that cheap tactic only too well.

Star February 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Disney is always into that tough love deal–we are sort of kidding…

Susan February 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

“That money is needed to keep her alive until I can get another job since I just graduated college too.”

Ummmm…isn’t this a payroll tax cut? If the mother isn’t even working at a real job, she won’t benefit from the continuation of the payroll tax cut. God bless this poor child and shame on her mother for using her illness for political gain.

pianogirl88 February 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

Bingo….if the mother isn’t working at a job that pays at least $50,000,she won’t be getting the tax “holiday”, IIRC.

Janna February 16, 2012 at 11:27 am

She just graduated college….isnt college kinda pricey? She obviously had money for that and prior to graduating she could pay for the child’s meds ?
Fishy, at best…flat out lie is my bet.

srdem65 February 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

My thoughts, too. You need a job to get this $40 windfall.

Who among us wouldn’t do everything or anything to make sure our child had life-saving medication?

kmbog February 16, 2012 at 11:04 am

Do you think Obama would pass the hat around to help this family at the 8 fund raisers he’s attending today?

mad as ever February 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

Not a prayer!!! This man doesn’t give, he just takes and dictates.

srdem65 February 16, 2012 at 11:35 am

Good point. One donation of that 1%er’s $38K to this family would go a long way to help this poor child.

lc southern February 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm

The great one could actually make a donation of his own money if he really wants to make an example.

Mike C February 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm

yes, he could help out personally, but I bet the donations will flood in from this kind hearted country

MaryOhSoContrary February 16, 2012 at 11:36 am

My FAVORITE “Why Obama is Super Dee Duper Swell Because He Is Letting Me KEEP $40 Extra Per Pay Check of MY OWN MONEY” bloggy posts are those that come from deep in an Illinois fundraising bunker: “I’ll be able to donate (wink, wink) to the Re-Immaculation of Barack Obama. Click here.”

Hopefully some adept techie will track down Mama Heather, in Texas. She has some ‘splaining to do.

DeniseVB February 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Surely a good investigative journalist would chomp at the bit to track down the family so we can help them, since Obama won’t. The angle could be Obama Exploits Sick Children to Fill His War Chest.

William February 16, 2012 at 11:36 am

Well this is just bush league stuff. What they ought to depict is the little girl picking flowers followed by video of a nuclear explosion.

MaryOhSoContrary February 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Bush league? LOLZ… It’s ALWAYS Dubya’s fault :)

Anonna February 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm

This woman just “graduated college?” These are the thinking and writing skills of a college graduate? Why did she spend or borrow money for college when her daughter needed such expensive health care? Why didn’t she spend or borrow money to buy medicine? Somehow this is not adding up unless she is on the public dole.

I think she is saying that she has one job and can now get a second one because she just “graduated college,” although her college-level writing skills are making her description mighty murky, and I certainly hope that I don’t have to deal with her illiteracy when she fills that college-degree-requring job.

Keith — is that the little girl in question or just a generic appealing little girl photo?

Why doesn’t MIchelle “Kid Lover” Obama give up some little treat and give this girl $40 a week? Why doesn’t BO, “the 1%ter with a Heart,” support his illegal alien aunt in Boston? Because it’s your job, taxpayers. And if there is no money for Social Security when you get old — well, at least you’ll know that the Princesses Obama will always live well.

DeniseVB February 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

An Obama family motorcade run for ice cream could probably pay for this child’s meds for a year :D

William February 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I was just thinking that!

Stan the Man February 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Koffler is a teapublican hack, the trash here is nothing more than GOP propaganda.

William February 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Welcome aboard, Stan! Here’s hoping you can one day learn proper grammar!

Star February 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm

We love the Stans here….

DeniseVB February 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

That’s right Stan, and why Politico let’s him write columns for them ! Oh wait…….

kmbog February 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Mr. The Man,

Tell me how many do you get paid per comment or per insult by the Obama 2012 campaign. I’m looking to pick up a few extra dollars and thought maybe I could get in on the Obama redistribution plan.

Susan February 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm

If Mr. The Man hooks you up, be sure to read what you sign carefully. There are no Daniel Webster’s to get you out of a contract with Mr. Scratch.

William February 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm

And another thing: Heather from Texas is a recent college graduate and writes like that? Did she not have to take any English courses? Her grammar is horrific.

Susan February 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Probably a political science major. Job training program for government workers. My guess is this isn’t the first time Heather from Texas has used her daughter’s illness to gain favor.

RB February 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I bet that Heather has a cell phone, cable tv, and many other luxeries that she could cut out of her life and have even more than $40 for medicine. OF course that would hurt her self esteem not to have all that!

Anonna February 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Yes, like that family that would lose their Friday “family pizza nights” that bring them together. They can only bond over $40 worth of pizza? They can’t make their own pizza or enjoy each other’s company without take-out food?

These people PREFER to have $40 more in their paycheck. They don’t NEED it.

William February 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Loved this little gem in the blog post: “$40 may not seem like a lot to those of you who can afford to waste our tax dollars and drive us trillions of dollars in debt, but to those of us just trying to survive, it makes a lot of difference.”

RWC February 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Where is that? On the WH page?

William February 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Yes. If you go to Keith’s link you’ll find it in the second “story”.

RWC February 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Oh geeze. Somehow I think the irony was lost on the administration.

Girly1 February 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm

If the Royals left Air Force One and Two in the hangar for just one day — it would pay for a lifetime of meds for this child. After his unprecedented $5B spending binge, how can Obama even show his face in public? Is there no end to this insanity???

Girly1 February 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

….meant to say $5T spending binge

RWC February 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm

They have no shame.

DCJeff February 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

A well-worn liberal tactic…I remember Harry Reid babbling about “little Tommy” during the immigration debate a few years back…Ted Kennedy used this tactic as well…

Sue Hay February 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm

My daughter is a liver transplant patient too and there is funding to help Obama is so full of it-makes me sick that the only time he cares about anything is if he can spin it for his purpose, damn him

gobnait February 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I couldn’t agree more and pray that your daughter enjoys a lifetime of good health!

Anonna February 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I hope and pray that your daughter recovers quickly and enjoys perfect health!

Susan February 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

God bless you and your daughter Sue Hay. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Marilyn Miller February 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm

The wh won’t put up a donation link for this kid because she probably doesn’t exist and the cover would be blown off the lie.

saveourstate February 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I think Heather in Texas must have gone to college on one of the many government grants floating around. I keep getting pop ups when I log onto the internet about getting a grant to go back to school. I am sure she didn’t pay for it herself…we did.

About the $40…I am a small business owner and do the payroll for my company. My computers are old so I manually figure out the 2% savings each week when I am completing payroll. The $40 they keep talking about is for someone who makes $1000 per week…$52000 per year. Most of my employees work hourly and earn around $9.00 per hour. Their savings is around $3-7 per week. Not something they would miss. Most of them smoke, most of them go to the boats (casinos in our area)…most of them are subsidized for their housing, utilities, food and healthcare and they ALL have cell phones. While I know every penny counts in this economy, for most people the 2% savings in Social Security is not something they even noticed in their paycheck.

Lizzy February 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm

So why not stay home on Valentines’s Say and send the $300 to her instead
of shoving food and wine down as a nice gesture. You know think of someone
besides yourself for a change? Just a very low sleazy Obama campaign ad.

AZ Granny February 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

This story is BS. The child has already had a liver transplant and is awaiting another. That means she’s already taking a boatload of medications every day. Either their insurance or medicaid is covering this child’s health care. Besides, how can the mom get $40 in her paycheck when she says she’s just graduated from college and looking for a job? If their financial situation was so dire, how did the mom fund her college?

That Obama would exploit this child and family for votes is beyond disgusting and shameful.

HollyW February 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm

It’s the same thing Biden was doing when he told everyone that crime would escalate without Obama’s Jobs Bill. According to a report in the Daily Rash, Biden told Jr high school students that they would be sodomized like Gaddafi if the Jobs Bill didn’t pass.

Susan February 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm

That site is similar to The Onion, only tackier.

Craig Nehring February 17, 2012 at 11:24 am

If this precious “$40″ per pay check is soooooo essential to the health and well being of Americans, then why have the libs been so reluctant to cut income taxes? I mean, if $40 from FICA is what will make or break America, then how about giving working Americans a permanent tax cut in their income to spend on what we want and not what the govt. deems to be “needed.”

Buffalo February 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I’m sure the family doesn’t want charity. They don’t realize that their preferred option means the government will eventually rob others at gunpoint to make up that $40/paycheck. I’m also glad that the family exactly matches the income need to equal Obama’s &40 amount. There’s nothing wrong with receiving charity when it’s due to unforeseen circumstances, it’s not habitual, and you pay it forward. That being said, we all need to get used to this 2% SS tax cut because eliminating it is now a 2% pay cut – politically unacceptable in a long term recession (which we’re in). Besides, the SS insurance tax lock box has long been a sham, especially noticeable now that payouts exceed taxes received. Since our reprehensible elected officials spent all excess SS receipts on general fund issues there’s no reason not to just commingle all the money and quit pretending there’s any difference just because they’re cashing Gov’t to Gov’t IOUs.

apetra February 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Republicans, why not replace the payroll tax cut with a middle class income tax cut?

aren’t all the spending programs going to the lower income classes?

jill colby February 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm

If Heather is going to lose the $40 per paycheck, that would mean that she actually makes the $50,000 per year as per the example. At $50,000 per year she should be able to afford her child’s meds.

Robert March 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm

The republicans must not go against considering this case and several others of same kind.