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$40 Means No Extras for My Students

A teacher, a nurse and a mom explain what losing $40 from each paycheck would mean for their family and their community at large

At the end of this month, a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut will expire. If Congress doesn't act, taxes will go up on 160 million hardworking Americans.

For a family making about $50,000 a year, the payroll tax cut amounts to about $1,000 a year, or about $40 in every paycheck. When the payroll tax cut was initially set to expire last December, we asked Americans to tell us what that $40 meant to them and their family. People all over the country responded, using email, Twitter, and Facebook, to tell us that $40 makes all the difference in the world for a family trying to stretch their already tight budget a little bit further.

These are some of their stories:

40 Dollars Stories: Georgia students
"As a teacher, $40 a month means not being able to provide the fun things in teaching my students. Already Congress has taken away the $250 teacher tax exemption (which was not enough to begin with, not by about $1000) but now you want to add another $40 a month to my payroll tax? This picture is from our end of novel study for How To Eat Fried Worms. The celebration was completely funded by me, the teacher. I made my students "worms" and "dirt" cake which for 60+ students cost me about $50. This tax will be the end of me doing anything like this for my class. I already can't afford to provide paper, pencils, art supplies etc for my students, and can only do the really special extras that I feel will really benefit my students."   --- Patricia from Georgia

 "My husband works for the Connecticut Army National Guard and I am a Registered Nurse caring for hospice patients we have three children. We live paycheck to paycheck in part due to almost 1000.00 a month student loans" --- Diane from Connecticut



"$40 per paycheck means that I can take my 4 year old to the doctor when she gets sick ($25 copay), and maybe afford a prescription. Since I get paid biweekly as a Federal Government employee, the $40 comes from the second ." ---- Colleen from Florida





Thanks to the voices of Patricia, Diane, Colleen, and thousands of others, Congress did the right thing and renewed the payroll tax cut for two more months late last year. But that extension will expire at the end of February unless lawmakers stop this tax hike on the middle class. Your voices are needed again. Tell us what $40 means to you. What will you and your family have to give up if Congress doesn't act?