President Donald Trump on Monday floated the idea of a payroll tax cut for Americans to help stimulate the economy as worries over coronavirus wreak havoc on the stock market.
Details about the specifics of that plan were made clear on Tuesday — and it appears that Trump aims to use the tax cuts to bribe voters into supporting him for president in November’s election.
Per reporting from Bloomberg, Trump wants the payroll tax holiday to last at least up to November, so that taxes won’t go back up before voters have a chance to go to the polls and vote in the presidential election. It’s likely the president believes the sudden tax increase before election day could hurt him politically — and that, conversely, the tax cuts could help him, especially if they’re particularly drastic.
According to CNBC, Trump is hoping for a zero percent payroll tax that would last through much of the remainder of this year. Essentially, such a tax cut would mean no funding at all for Social Security programs.
Republicans, however, are highly skeptical of a payroll tax cut, which helps to fund Social Security. Making such drastic cuts could hurt the program in the long-run, Democrats and left-leaning groups have also warned.
“Trump and the Republicans in Congress cannot be trusted to protect the Social Security trust fund,” Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said.
Baker further warned that cuts Trump is hoping to promote could be used “as an opportunity to weaken the program’s finances so that they can then push for cuts or privatization” of Social Security.
Even some of Trump’s top defenders couldn’t bring themselves to support the plan at this time. “The payroll tax, as a general stimulus — I’ve got to think about that,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump supporter.
Featured image credit: The White House/Wikimedia
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.