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Fooled again
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While we're confident many of you fit under the $400,000 income threshold, above which earners will be taxed higher than in years past, your take-home pay is shrinking nonetheless.

If you haven't yet received your first paycheck of the New Year, be prepared for the pain of losing some extra cash, as Congress did not vote to keep a Social Security payroll tax break that had been in effect the past two years.
In the wake of welcome news about the "fiscal cliff" being avoided, you might have thought that Congress and the president did you a great big favor by only passing a tax bill that raised rates on the rich. However, we imagine many residents were surprised to hear their taxes were going to be increasing despite a deal being reached and were probably none too pleased.

Senators and representatives could have kept the payroll tax cut in place if they had desired to do so, but we're not sure they're always living in the same reality when tucked away in their D.C. offices.

For those making $30,000 a year, taxes are expected to increase by around $50 per month. To many of our federally elected officials $50 may not seem like a whole lot, because the economy is much rosier in our nation's capital. There are few lingering effects from the economic recession, unemployment is a reasonable rate and many homeowners don't find themselves underwater on their mortgage or in foreclosure.

The senior member of our editorial board took a recent trip to the Washington D.C. area, where he visited a four-story mall located near the Pentagon. The mall was so crowded on a Sunday afternoon that shoppers could barely move.

When you live in a fairytale world, $50 means nothing. However, for those of us living here in Newton County and elsewhere, having $50 swiped from your pocket could mean a little less food on the table.

In our opinion, our government officials, despite being elected to serve us, are clearly taking care of themselves before they truly turn their eye toward their constituents.

We don't have to accept this type of leadership, but we as an electorate must stay informed and dispel ourselves of the notion that government is going to take care of all of our needs. Their list of "needs" is so long, who knows when they'll get around to ours.