The White House Wants Another Tax Cut

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Just yesterday afternoon I speculated that Republicans would try to counteract Trump's trade war by throwing more money at the problem rather than take away Trump's authority to wage his trade war in the first place and, sure enough, they're considering exactly that.

The Washington Post first reported last night that White House staff have been discussing more tax cuts including a possible payroll tax cut.

Several senior White House officials have begun discussing whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to arrest an economic slowdown, three people familiar with the discussions said, revealing growing concerns about the economy among President Trump’s top economic aides.

The talks are still in their early stages and have included a range of other tax breaks. The officials also have not decided whether to formally push Congress to approve any of these measures, these people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose internal discussions. But the White House increasingly is discussing ideas to boost a slowing economy, they said.

But everything is great, right? There is no economic slowdown according to Trump. Why would the White House be talking about an economic slowdown that doesn't exist?

Trump just asserted that American consumers are "rich" and "loaded up with money," so why would they need another tax cut? Americans already received a tax cut and that tax cut was amazing according to Trump.

I could snark all day, but the point is this would be another deficit-busting bandaid on a problem that won't go away until Trump is gone. The effects of a tax cut would quickly fade but Trump's trade war will stay with us.

A payroll tax cut of just 1 percent could add tens of billions to an annual deficit that's already approaching $1 trillion, because no one loves deficit spending quite like "fiscally responsible" Republicans do.

  • gescove

    Will there ever be a problem that Republicans think can’t be fixed with more tax cuts? What a sorry bunch of moribund nihilists. They must be swept into the ignoble dustbin of the wrong side of history.

  • muselet

    That didn’t take long.

    I guess the brain trust decided interest rate cuts and quantitative easing weren’t going to stimulate—remember when Rs insisted “stimulus” was the naughtiest word in the English language?—the economy enough.

    Donald Trump’s income tax cuts caused a brief upward blip in the economy (Paul Krugman called it a “sugar high”) and this cut will likely do the same, but if that blip can be timed carefully enough, it might impress enough of the rubes and marks to win the Rs some key elections.

    “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.” –Lily Tomlin