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.