The White House Finds Out $40 Is a Depressing Number
To break down the payroll tax cut and the repercussions of the stalemate into simpler terms, the White House took to Twitter and asked the masses what $40 meant to them and came away with sad snapshots of American life in 2011.
To break down the payroll tax cut and the repercussions of the stalemate into simpler terms, the White House took to Twitter and asked the masses what $40 meant to them and came away with sad snapshots of American life in 2011. $40 is "what officials estimate the average American would lose from his or her paycheck every two weeks, starting in January without an agreement on an extension of the tax cut. The $40 is based on someone earning about $50,000 a year and paying about $1,000 more in taxes annually," writes Jennifer Preston of The New York Times. The White House sent a tweet two days ago asking America about that $40 (right), and have posted, what seems to be the most heart-breaking collection stories on its blog. The latest round of answers is up. "
#40dollars means I can buy a pair of shoes that don't have holes in the soles so my feet stay dry," wrote one tweeter. Another writes:
"I have a significant physical disability (born without arms or legs). I have worked all my life, and have always paid out-of-pocket for my personal attendant care. I would have to give up many hours of personal attendant care each month without the $40 per paycheck from the payroll tax cut. These are essential services to me that allow me to work and remain independent. And my attendant would suffer as well. "
Of course it's probably someone's job to sift and pick and choose the most poignant answers--the White House Facebook page asked the same answer and partisan rancor seems to have dominated that page--but from people losing their homes to not being able to buy groceries, $40 in America has never looked more depressing.