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Trump ping pongs on payroll tax cuts, says they’re not on the table

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President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he isn’t considering payroll tax cuts to juice the economy with extra consumer cash, only a day after he said they were on the table.

Trump told reporters at the White House that cutting payroll taxes wasn’t necessary given the American economy’s strength and downplayed fears of a recession.

“I’m not looking at a tax cut now,” he said. “We don’t need it. We have a strong economy.”

The Trump administration has struggled keeping its economic message straight in recent days. Trump said on Tuesday that temporarily reducing the payroll tax was among the options the administration weighed to bolster the economy, along with a change to capital gains taxes which would benefit investors.

Read more: Trump confirms he’s considering payroll tax cuts, a day after the White House denied such a proposal

The conflicting message came after the Washington Post first reported on Monday top White House officials were weighing whether to push for a payroll tax cut to salvage weakening confidence in the economy. A White House official denied the story to Insider at the time.

Payroll taxes are levied on workers’ wages to fund Social Security and Medicare. Tens of millions of Americans pay the 6.2% tax, and reducing it would add extra money on their paychecks. It was last cut to 4.2% in 2011 and 2012 to reinforce the economy’s sluggish growth after the Great Recession and the Obama administration allowed it to reset in 2013.

If a similar cut were to go into effect, it would cost around $300 billion over two years before interest, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

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