Obama Tax Cut Helped Bethlehem Mom

The "typical Pennsylvanian" has saved $3,500 a year in federal taxes under president's tax policies, according to campaign.


For Carla Young, the middle-class tax cut is helping her to pay for the basics – like a transmission repair for her car so she can keep going to work for the overnight shift as a nursing home aide.

The single mother of three boys from Bethlehem said she isn’t so sure she would be able to afford the car repairs if she lost the $3,500 in tax breaks that supporters of President Obama say are threatened by Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“I don’t think so,” she said. “And I’m working full time.”

Young was one of four people who joined Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan at the Obama For America office in South Bethlehem in a made-for-media roundtable discussion on the importance of the so-called middle-class tax cuts and the difference in tax policies advanced by Romney and Obama.

  • The tax cuts include a reduction of $2,200 a year in payroll taxes on a typical family of four.
  • A typical Pennsylvania family is currently saving $3,500 a year in federal taxes thanks to the cuts, which also include child tax credits and mortgage interest deductions.
  • 4.9 million families in Pennsylvania are currently benefiting from the tax cut.
  • The Obama campaign also points out that Romney’s economic plan currently calls for specific tax increases on 630,000 middle-class Pennsylvanians.

The president wants to make the cuts to families and individuals who make less than $250,000 a year permanent, while allowing the tax rate for families and individuals who make more to go back to what they were while Bill Clinton was president – a little more than 39 percent.

However, Romney and the Republicans are “holding the tax cuts hostage to prolong the tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires,” Callahan said.

Republicans counter that it is the millionaires and billionaires who drive the country’s job creation engine.

However, Ron Morris, owner of Mercantile Home, an Easton shop that features locally handcrafted handbags, home décor, clothing and art, said the savings from the payroll tax cuts have helped him to comfortably hire more people for the store.

“We felt a lot better about taking that leap,” he said. “You can breathe a little easier.”

Sergio Rivas, a teacher from Bethlehem Township, said the tax cut has helped him to afford home repairs and enabled him to at least try to put aside some money to send his two sons – now 15 and 13 – to college.

“Paying for it is the only issue,” Rivas said. “They want to go. I want them to go. The little bit I’m saving is not going to be enough. We need every little bit of help we can get to send them to college.”

Hilary Smith, a freelance writer from Lower Macungie and mother of two with one on the way, said the extra $40 a week from the tax cut has enabled her family to keep paying bills on time and enjoy an occasional night out. But the current fight in Washington over whether the cuts will continue leaves her frustrated.

“There is uncertainty in knowing how much to set aside for taxes for next year,” Smith said. “If you have extra money, you don’t know whether you can spend it. It’s not fair."

Romney “has no plan for the middle class at all,” Smith said. “On his Website, he calls employees ‘human capital.’ There’s a disconnect with average, every-day Americans. He says the way to get rid of the student loan problem is to make student loans less accessible.

“If you don’t like Obama, don’t vote for someone who doesn’t even care.”

Ronald Regan Jr August 03, 2012 at 05:08 AM
thank you Sam
Ronald Regan Jr August 03, 2012 at 05:09 AM
in the end, Charlie Dent is to blame
DAS August 03, 2012 at 10:33 AM
This story is unbelievably dishonest. Obama tax cuts, there are none. What a lie. He supports maintaining the current rates passed under President Bush for many Americans and raising taxes on those individuals making over $200K and families and small businesses making over $250K. What he refers to as millionaires and billionaires; not sure where he learned math. Mr Neri, are you a reporter, or a Democrat campaign employee; it appears to be the latter.
Art Wegweiser August 04, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Yup, like over regulating the banks, insurance companies and wall street financials that screwed us over. Like over regulating the crap coal spews in to the air. Like over regulating health care so that people die because they cannot afford it. Like over regulating the unknowns that Monsanto is dumping into our food. Of course, why believe numbers. Grocery and gas receipts and take-home pay become somewhat less important when the probability you might die a little too early increases.
Sergio David Rivas August 05, 2012 at 04:37 PM
I received a tax cut Dan. Take a look at your paycheck from a couple of years ago and compare the taxes. If you didn't get more money in your paycheck then I would speak to your employer. $250,000 a year is a lot of money. Most of us do not make nearly that much and if you do and you're a small business owner you are doing very very well. Most small business owners don't make that kind of money. Ask them, they'll tell you they wished they made that kind of money. Maybe if you own a law firm or a medical practice. As a person that sat in that press conference there was nothing dishonest about it but lets face it that never stopped you guys from just making stuff up.


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