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Senate Passes Payroll Tax Extension, Gas Price Increase Has Already Offset Benefits

Tyler Durden's picture


In a 60-36 vote, Senate just passed the payroll tax extension, previously voted through by Congress. From Reuters: "The U.S. Senate on Friday passed legislation extending a tax cut for 160 million workers and long-term jobless benefits through December, clearing the way for President Barack Obama to sign the measure into law. The Senate approval by a simple majority vote followed the House of Representatives' approval earlier on Friday. The legislation, which also extends current payment rates to doctors through the Medicare health care program for older Americans, will add $100 billion to the U.S. deficit and is aimed at further stimulating the economy." As a reminder, all this means is that a repeat of the debt ceiling fiasco is now virtually assured before the presidential election as discussed here, which explains the GOP's willingness to pass this through as fast as possible with no offsetting spending cuts. As for the benefits of $1000/taxpaying household, the recent rise in gasoline prices has already offset those. One can only hope that crude prices are as susceptible to successful central planning intervention as all other assets, or else many more extensions will be needed before the year is over.


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Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:33 | 2170256 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Paper bitchez!

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:42 | 2170311 LaLiLuLeLo
LaLiLuLeLo's picture

Bicycles bitchez!

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:09 | 2170488 redpill
redpill's picture

They should "pay" for it by increasing gas taxes so the circle of sad irony is complete.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:18 | 2170565 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

AK's bitches.   can be had for 450.00 still.  Stock your ass up.

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 07:03 | 2174541 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

HE's for the win.

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 03:16 | 2183710 Mauibrad
Mauibrad's picture

NY EBT cards used everywhere? report:  video:  

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:58 | 2170412 HedgeAccordingly
HedgeAccordingly's picture

CRude about to take out the 104 .. on way to 110 -

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:34 | 2170264 taniquetil
taniquetil's picture

"We cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end. Today I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office."


-Barack Obama, Feb. 2009

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:42 | 2170310 VanillAnalyst
VanillAnalyst's picture

"Socialists cry “Power to the people”, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean—power over people, power to the State."

-Margaret Thatcher

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:45 | 2170326 LaLiLuLeLo
LaLiLuLeLo's picture

but but but...  Jon Corzine told me stealing was EZ

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:52 | 2170385 taniquetil
taniquetil's picture

"I never gave any instruction to anyone at MF Global to misuse customer funds."


-John Corzine, under oath.


I mean, just look at his face. Would a face like that lie to you?



Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:07 | 2170463 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Well, of course he's not lying. Stealing no longer qualifies as misuse, rehypothetically speaking.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:42 | 2170671 CrimsonAvenger
CrimsonAvenger's picture

That's a hilarious quote - as long as he didn't say it verbatim I'm sure it's true in his legalese mind.

"Hey, you - misuse those funds! And you, stop sitting around - go kick a girl scout in the stomach!"

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 15:20 | 2170879 SAME AS IT EVER WAS


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:35 | 2170269 guasilas
guasilas's picture

So the politicians forego 100 billion in revenue, and add 100 billion in spending.  This is the only sort of measure they can agree on. 

Good luck, America.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:54 | 2170740 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Correct.  And the media phrases it as "stimulus" despite the fact NOTHING CHANGED!  It's neutral.  Not stimulative.

It just avoided being destimulative in an election year and the price is to defund Social Security by 33%.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 17:42 | 2171505 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

They can reduce the payroll tax to zero for all I care. I'll never see a dime of it anyway. The system will collapse long before I retire

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 07:18 | 2174549 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

I think that's an interesting thought experiment: reduce payroll tax to zero, defund Social Security overnight. Cancel Medicare at the same time, for the lulz. A whole slew of heart attack victims among retirees, followed by suicides among the newly "under-saved" population. Watch life expectancy take a sudden drop.

Sort of like when the USSR collapsed. Except the USSA is nominally capitalist, so I bet when it comes here it's called something cute & marketable like "Downsizing". It won't be pretty.

Is there anyway to avoid the Ponzi collapse? Von Mises says no. I guess it's our turn to find out.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:35 | 2170274 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Obama's newest campaign commercial. Excellent.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:37 | 2170286 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

It's "Mourning in America". 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:40 | 2170295 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

I got 2 minutes into that and wanted to throw up.  I had to stop it.  Too sad to continue. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:47 | 2170344 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Yep. Now wait until later tonight when you realize it's been playing in your head all day long.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:51 | 2170378 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

You motherf--------.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:43 | 2170318 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

they can speed up the 9 months to around 7 months its fuck and only 7 months and an undercooked baby to the big bucks

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:43 | 2170320 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

"It's free, swipe yo EBD

All you got to do is f=ck, and 9 months later you got a big butt."

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 15:16 | 2170858 SAME AS IT EVER WAS

Visa, MC, and AE are for chumps! I got's my EBT bitchez!

Sun, 02/19/2012 - 07:19 | 2174551 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Ain't no monthly bills and shit, neither.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:36 | 2170275 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

and its gone

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:36 | 2170278 BORT
BORT's picture

I beg to differ with the conclusion that this benefit is offset by rising gas prices.  The ruling  is a continuation and adds no benefit to the consumer.  High gas costs, and food, are real and additive to the pain of loss of higher paying jobs, more transfer of health care costs and loss of retirement benefits; such as at GM.  The consumer just sees no added benefit, and only more pain.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:41 | 2170301 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

But GM just announced record profits.  Everything is fixed.  Isn't it?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:47 | 2170342 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

Good point. We just wanted to keep it simple.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:53 | 2170737 Don Birnam
Don Birnam's picture

"Payroll Tax-Cut May Be Offset by Rising Gas Prices"

Your admiring scribes at CNBC posted this headline and accompanying de facto plagiarization at 1:03 PM.

Ty's is time stamped 12:31.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 15:22 | 2170792 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I like to blast ZeroHedge articles in response to Joe Weisenthal's tweets.  He has yet to respond to any of them.

My favorite recent one was one where retails sales showed largest drop and I was able to send it to @thestalwart after he twatted that he expected good retail numbers this morning. 

The timeliness of this site makes me giggle.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:44 | 2170676 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

Oh damn, you mean we consumers are NOT going to break even?

"You can't win.

 You can't break even.

 You can't even leave the game."


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 17:44 | 2171515 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Only a terrorist would try to escape this rigged game

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 17:47 | 2171522 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You basically just paraphrased the Laws of Thermodynamics....

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:36 | 2170279 VulpisVulpis
VulpisVulpis's picture

Up next: "Stimulation Czar"


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:39 | 2170293 taniquetil
taniquetil's picture

Be careful how you phrase that. We already have enough people in the government watching porn on the taxpayer's dime.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:00 | 2170418 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Stimulation Czar?!?! Do they control the hookers and blow?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:09 | 2170478 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:37 | 2170281 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

LOL Obamaments

There was a PSA that he did where he encouraged people to write their representative about how much $40 dollars means to them (about mean avg of what benefit the payroll tax deduction gives us).

I wrote in to mine as said, "Do you assholes even remember when $40 used to be WORTH something?"

Shit won't even pay for a week's worth of groceries.  I mean, I'll take it......but it doesn't solve our problems, or won't be of that great use to our economy.

Up next: "Stimulation Czar"

They already have that.  His title is "Head of the Federal Reserve"

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:42 | 2170314 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

"Dear Mr. or Mrs. Senator,

I just wanted to let you know that forty dollars to me means one silver eagle and a large cherry Slurpee.  Please don't take away my Slurpee.

U.S. taxpayer"

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:36 | 2170283 PaperBear
PaperBear's picture

This is a zero sum game, while it may look like you gain you are really only back to square one.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:43 | 2170319 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

I think you get sent back 4 squares to Luxury Tax. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:40 | 2170296 espirit
espirit's picture

If I understand this correctly, your SS benefits if and when collected will be decreased by the 2% or so rebated.

Wowza, livin' large.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:11 | 2170502 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Well, at least forty bucks is worth far more today than when that magical day arrives.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:40 | 2170302 WALLST8MY8BALL
WALLST8MY8BALL's picture

I was born in a 2 party brain drain

And I howled cuz CNN drove me insane

But it's all right now, even though I can’t get gas
Senate Payroll Tax has passed passed passed!

I was raised by a toothless, bearded Bernanke
I was schooled with a strap right across my back
But it's all right now, even though I can’t get gas
Senate Payroll Tax has passed passed passed!
I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead

I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled
I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread
Yeah, yeah, yeah
A cop pepper sprayed my head!
But it's all right now, even though I can’t get gas
Senate Payroll Tax has passed passed passed!

Senate Payroll Tax has passed passed passed!
Senate Payroll Tax has passed passed passed!


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:41 | 2170307 Mr. Lucky
Mr. Lucky's picture

Vaporized bitchez.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:44 | 2170321 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Did anyone else see this bill: H.R.3672 - Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2012

We are allocating 6.4 Billion for Disaster Preparedness through the end of fiscal 2012...Did I miss something?

For an additional amount for the ‘Disaster Relief Fund’ for major disasters declared pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), $6,400,000,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That such amount is designated by the Congress as being for disaster relief pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(D) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:20 | 2170569 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Likely all to be spent on NapalitanoVision units to be installed on every street corner.

Those things remind me of all of the stupid electronic signs now on the interstate highways.

Yesterday, "Don't drive distracted. DOT cares."

Another good one, "Motorcycles are everywhere!" This one makes me paranoid, because I can never find any of them.

Only once have I seen an actual Amber Alert, and it was completely worthless, giving no relevant info.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:45 | 2170327 bobola
bobola's picture

Screw the oil companies.

I rode my bike to work the last 3 days.

I urge everyone to do the same.

The only oil I use are the few drops it takes to lube the chain.



Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:38 | 2170548 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

While I applaud how noble and selfless of you are, what you imply isn't going to work logistically for western civilization.  

They can't start stocking the shelves of your Whole Foods store with products that trucked in via bicycle.

If all adopted your sacrifice it would merely amount to a prolonging.  The elites are the only group that will benefit from a prolonging.  The only solution is to bring it all down and begin anew.

keep some oil for your ak set aside.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:46 | 2170692 10mm
10mm's picture

The afgans during the war with russkies used shoe laces dipped in motor oil to keep the shit kicking ak Q Tips needed.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 15:06 | 2170807 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

It's FREE - swipe your EBT - It's free!

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 15:09 | 2170825 SAME AS IT EVER WAS

National no drive day(and buy day!), twice a week.  And thats just a strating point!

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 13:47 | 2170341 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Reggie Middleton on CNBC trying to ask questions about risk to the regular talking heads:  Scott Wapner:  "Oh, we'll have to talk about that after the break." Yeah, sure you will Scott (and Producer).  Poor Reggie - he wasn't pumping stocks but asking real questions.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:06 | 2170457 uno
uno's picture

or many times they say Breaking News sorry to cut the interview short and go to LIESman

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:20 | 2170575 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Or GM's Phil LeBlow.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:27 | 2170609 uno
uno's picture

yes, I forgot about him also, they are so transparent and predictable

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:01 | 2170420 Elwood P Suggins
Elwood P Suggins's picture

Tea Party anyone?

Knew that bunch of losers were a friggin' joke from the beginning.  Once you get in DC and see the huge ocean of money that is there for the taking you immediately become just another politician - a cheat, thief and liar.


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:19 | 2170568 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Tea Party circa 2009: We're only concerned about fiscal and economic policy!

Tea Party circa 2012: We're only concerned about abortion and teh queers trying to marry each other!

Different name, same agenda.

Funny how a presidental election brings out the true colors in people, huh?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 15:07 | 2170814 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Scott Brown was touted as a Tea Party win in Mass. and look at that cluster fuck of a man. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 17:52 | 2171535 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Tea Party was co-opted by the lamestream Republicans. There are still some real Tea Party candidates in Congress, but more than half of those elected on that platform were funded by neocon type. Whatever real Tea Party candidates out there are a tiny minority and have no power. Who's fault is that?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:05 | 2170449 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

It's ok.... Citi Group just came out saying that Peak Oil was dead....

Nothing to see... move along....

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:21 | 2170583 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

They just realized how much energy can be extracted from the aging (soon to be dying) boomers.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:06 | 2170460 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Well, gas is already up 5% here in the past month, and in the Pittsburgh area, we're about 13 cents above the national average of $3.50.

Oh, it's such a livable city - let me count and impart upon you the ways!

Our hillsides are collapsing and closing roadways left and right, our bridges are beyond repair, and our environment and buildings are still polluted by toxic emissions from nearly a CENTURY ago. And the air here smells like ass anytime we have the hint of a southernly air flow.

Okay, I'll stop now. Happy Friday. Enjoy your E. coli flavored peas while the super rich keep all of their "hard-earned" loot.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:40 | 2170661 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

better get your ass over to Ryan's, those buffet tubs aren't going to fill themselves.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:07 | 2170468 non_anon
non_anon's picture

it's all a ruse to fool the masses and to make the criminals in power look like agents of good.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:18 | 2170560 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

After reading this, I began to reflect on the Whitney Houston circus  funeral and that some of our combat veterans remains are ending up in landfills. This is a culture beyond repair. I'm redoubling my efforts to properly care for my loved ones in an ever growing world of insanity.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:27 | 2170606 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Boy, its almost as if there is a formula that looks to squeeze every penny out of JohnQ and put it in the pocket of JamieD. Obviously, it goes into an untraceable black box first and any actual direct appearing transfer is just coincidence.

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:28 | 2170612 digalert
digalert's picture

Payroll tax slaves haven't paid Social Security tax for a year, how long have I been told SS is going broke, let's extend the cuts another year. Yet nobody mentions this un-funding, Why?

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:55 | 2170643 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yet another example of Corporatism run amok

Merck and Vioxx

Which brings us to todays word


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 14:45 | 2170690 Greenhead
Greenhead's picture

It should be clear to everyone by now that SS is not a pension nor is it an insurance fund.  The disconnect now makes it obvious that it is merely a redestribution scheme from current (and future) taxpayers towards retirees and those claiming disability.  The "I paid into it and therefoe I should get..." argument is exposed for the fallacy it is. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 15:10 | 2170824 Monkeyfister
Monkeyfister's picture

Congress and Senate will hold another round of hearings regarding Oil speculation and price fixing/gouging, and the BigOil/BigFinance representatives will all look at each other and to our Congresscritters, throw their hands up, and SWEAR that no hanky-panky is going on, and they are all LOSING money, and SWEAR that it is all atributable to "seasonal reformulations"  and supply and demand-- even though demand is at a multi-year low. Funny how when demand is high and supply low prices go up, and when supply is still high, and demand low-- prices go up!

But our fabulous Congresscritters will accept the BS supplied by BigOil, and BigFinance and order us, down here, to suck it up and pay... and pay... and pay.



Seems to me, some a$$holes are booking in the price of the war on Iran that they are all but forcing the US to start. Bastards.


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 15:35 | 2170929 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Anytime American workers get extra the price of oil goes up (for everybody) no matter what or who. Check out the BushCo's stimuli, same deal. NC has had it gas tax rise twice since 08'. Let the good times roll.


Fri, 02/17/2012 - 16:22 | 2171160 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

Not to be the silver lining posting type of asshat we all hate, but at least those with jobs have something (a payroll tax cut) with which to offset rising energy prices, and last time I checked the labor force participation rate was nearing half of America with many of those unemployed or making so little that the benefit of lower payroll taxes amounts to about nothing.  And for disabled vets and retired people on fixed incomes there is no offset to higher energy prices.  Every month I have to find a new way to lower my living cost/standards, yesterday I cancelled my Blockbuster video pass account, but that $14 or so will not make up for gas price increases this month alone.  But, I did resolve on New Years Eve to read more library books, and unlike the new and improved Direct TV version of Blockbuster I do not have to drive 25 minutes to the nearest outlet only to find you have to go on a waiting list for a future rental of a recent movie. 

Fri, 02/17/2012 - 19:08 | 2171754 FlyPaper
FlyPaper's picture

By not 'offsetting' the spending elsewhere, it hastens the approach of th debt ceiling discussion to RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION.  Now the question is whether the inept Mr. Boehner can use this to his obvious political advantage...

Sat, 02/18/2012 - 14:31 | 2173148 eightpak
eightpak's picture

Yes, I got my pictures edited at a good place too.

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