The company has spent the past few months managing expectations. With the economy tanking and our company’s performance following the trend of all other companies in the industry, there won’t be much in the way of annual raises and bonuses this year. (We receive these incentives a few months after the end of the year in which they are earned.)
Barack Obama is prepared to step in with an economic stimulus that might allow workers to take more money home in paychecks. One proposal includes a tax credit advance to taxpayers. Through changing withholding amounts, employees would see this tax break as an additional $150 or more in each bi-weekly paycheck during the first quarter of 2009. For individuals with salaries below $75,000 or couples earning less than $150,000, a payroll tax credit would be offered, $500 for individuals or $1,000 for couples.
Rather than spreading the credit out throughout the year, the proposal calls for accelerating the credit to be fully provided within the first three months of the year.
Giving more money to taxpayers hasn’t really worked as an “economic stimulus” so far. This seems to be a unique way to approach the problem of stimulating the economy, but I’m not sure it will work on its own. Nevertheless, I can understand how this would be a welcome plan in a year in which companies can’t or won’t offer pay increases. The mantra heard most often now is that one should just be lucky to have a job at all.
Obama’s paycheck bonus, Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Money, December 30, 2008
Updated January 2, 2009 and originally published December 31, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.