SPM’s consideration of taxes will help Obama’s reelection campaign if (and I believe it’s more like when) the Census Bureau surprises everyone and releases its related report in October of next year instead of November, as it did this year, and attempts with media help to give it greater credibility than the official measurement. By far the largest tax low-income families pay is the payroll tax. In 2011, that tax was reduced by two percentage points. As a result, when next year’s SPM report comes out, millions of Americans will no longer be “low income” under its framework. I can imagine the campaign verbiage already: “Who first broached the idea of eliminating part of the payroll tax? Why, it was Barack Obama, who singlehandedly moved millions into the middle class in one bold move, undoing much of the damage of the past decade’s misguided policies.”
Cynical and paranoid? Perhaps. But hasn't the past 50 or 60 years taught us that it's hard to be too cynical when it comes to our government?