Folks… you just can’t make this stuff up.
On July 6th, just two days ago, at least a dozen busybody Congressmen sponsored the introduction of HR 2411, the “Reduce America’s Debt Now Act of 2011.” They always come up with fantastic names for these pieces of legislation… and rest assured, the better/more patriotic the name, the more ominous the bill. This one follows the pattern.
HR 2411 states that every worker in America should be able to voluntarily have a portion of his/her wages automatically withheld and sent directly to the Treasury Department for the purposes of paying down the federal debt.
“Every employer making payment of wages shall deduct and withhold upon such wages any amounts so elected, and shall pay such amounts over to the Secretary of the Treasury…”
That’s right. Uncle Sam is so broke that he wants to give all the good little Americans out there the opportunity to contribute an even greater portion of their paychecks to finance government largess.
Desperate? Hmmm…. Don’t worry, it gets better.
Obviously, if an employee feels so compelled and should elect to have a portion of his/her paycheck withheld, the onus of responsibility is now on the employer to make it happen. The employer has to do all the paperwork, withhold the money, send the payment to the Treasury, maintain the account records, and probably submit to all kinds of new filing requirements.
You can imagine that, if passed, the bill will result in a host of new IRS regulations, complete with a battery of penalties for employers who don’t fill out the paperwork properly, submit filings on time, or make some administrative mistake.
Think about it: if a small business owner has one single employee who is dumb enough to think that it’s his patriotic duty to pay down the debt and decides to contribute $1/month, that owner will have the responsibility for all kinds of new forms and filings, plus submit to new ‘debt reduction audits.’
But don’t worry, it gets even better.
So let’s say there are millions of sheep out there who elect to donate a portion of their toil and sweat so that the Chinese and big financial institutions don’t have to worry about an American default. How does Congress plan on rewarding its most patriotic citizens? By sticking it to them on their taxes, of course.