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.”

Peter August 02, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I call bullshit. I haven't noticed ANY benefit to this administrations tax policies. As a matter of fact, in the last 3 years, my paycheck has decreased in size due to higher taxes and more expensive medical insurance... Thanks for nothing!! For those that are getting the kickbacks, good for you.. Spend it wisely cause ecomomics 101 says it simply won't last. I voted for these fools 4 years ago. Never again.
Gerry Haines August 02, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I agree, it is not that there is no middle class tax cut in Romney's policies, it is, there is a tax cut for everyone, especially small business who create jobs. Their propoganda is a lie, All he has done is spend money needlessly on stupid things, nothing has worked, all we have done is gone deeper in debt.
Jen Krausz August 02, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Obama has only, under great duress, maintained most of previous presidents' and Congresses' tax policies. He has raised a few small taxes while claiming he hasn't. The REAL damage has been his policies of over-regulating businesses and instituting Obamacare, which have led to higher gas and food prices and creeping inflation. Don't believe the "official" numbers. Believe your grocery and gas receipts and your take-home pay.
Tom Bennett August 02, 2012 at 07:47 PM
G. Bush reduced your tax burden and Obama claims he won't touch the middle class but don't believe it . Are we all watching the same news coverage . I don't think we are and some folks are not paying attention or comprehending what's happening .Mitt Romney and the Republicans are not threatening to raise your taxes . Please , everyboby wake up !!!
Tom Bennett August 02, 2012 at 09:00 PM
And furthermore , about 75% of these supposed rich people earning more than 250,000 are small employers . When our wonderful president claims he's only grabbing the rich ,your boss could be one of them ! There goes your raise! Seriously , if you believe Obomers nonsense , you may be too stupid to vote . Glad Pete saw the light !!
Art Wegweiser August 02, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Well, if you voted for that "fool" last time and vote for his opponent this time, I think you might find yourself even less happy unless you find at least a 6 figure check slipped under your door each month. Like it or no, there will be but 2 choices and pay lots of attention to what both of them say, do and have done. I try to and picking the "lesser" as they say, is something I have faced before. I grit my teeth and do it. Also be sure to not get sick, not have a previous condition, have no unemployed kids at home over 18, cannot afford preventative examinations for your wife and don't have an existing company that decides to kiss you off because you are costing them so much that they cannot pay sacks of money to their executives, even when they screw up. Not to mention any disabled or poor or older people in your family or friends you care about.
Art Wegweiser August 02, 2012 at 10:15 PM
These small businesses that create jobs, are they run by multi millionaires? Almost never. The tax cuts WILL help small businesses - pay attention to some of the bullshit being fed via the ex MA governor's gang of thugs. Will small business be slammed if people raking in over several $ mil a year get hit with a tax increase. Absolutely not. Shit, a tax back to the previous Bush gift rate means nothing to many of them except perhaps one less trip to Tiffany. Small business (under 50 people) are included in special provisions of the affordable health laws. No, Monsanto, Pfizer and Shell oil are not - really sad but they are OK with the subsidies (good corporate socialism, not bad people socialism) they get. Whose lies and propaganda are you talking about, anyway? Rove and the Koch boys are not working for democrats. Yes, the very wealthy do create jobs - for the builders of yachts, very upscale cars, super lux condos and the owners (not the servers or the line cooks) of restaurants providing $200+ entrees and $500 bottles of wine. If you are in one of these lines of work - sure, go for it, otherwise bend over and stock up on KY Jelly.
Ronald Regan Jr August 03, 2012 at 05:08 AM
god bless the next president of the united states of america, mitt romney
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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