Less than one in 10 respondents in a recent New York Times poll were aware that their taxes had been cut by the Obama administration. Even worse: A third of the people polled thought their taxes had gone up. In truth, taxes were cut for 95 percent of working Americans — and a conscious decision was made to withold less tax money from paychecks instead of sending out rebate checks, as the Bush administration did. The idea was that people were more likely to spend a lump-sum check, but getting a little more money (an average of about $65 a month) in each paycheck would encourage saving. The decision may have been costly. Come voting time, you kind of need people to notice that you helped them save some money. To make matters worse, many people were making less money anyway because of the economy, and 30 state governments increased taxes. Even though there was no publicity, the Obama administration still thinks that reducing withholding was a good idea and will continue it next year. "In retrospect, we think that judgment was right," Jason Furman, deputy director of the National Economic Council, told The New York Times. "It's harder to predict what's good for politics. Ultimately, the best thing for politics is going to be helping the economy."
Read more at The New York Times.
Lauren is a former Deputy Editor of The Root.