Coronavirus

Trump Considers Tax Cuts, Dems Consider Something That May Actually Help

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Trump and his cabinet lackeys met at the White House yesterday evening to discuss a possible stimulus package in response to arrival of the coronavirus and I'm sure you'll be very shocked to learn that they believe the answer is more tax cuts.

Fortunately, Reuters reports that congressional Democrats are pondering a more comprehensive package of legislation that may actually help.

We’ll be discussing a possible payroll tax cut or relief, substantial relief, very substantial relief, that’s a big number,” Trump told reporters. [...]

[Democrats] also said they are crafting new legislation, on the heels of $8.3 billion coronavirus funding enacted last week, that might be ready to be introduced this week.

Among proposals that could be included are ensuring water supplies are maintained for people even if they cannot pay their bills as a result of the crisis, expanded unemployment insurance, medical leave and providing food for children who rely on school nutrition programs if schools are shut.

It may go without saying, but a payroll tax cut will mean exactly diddly-squat to businesses that have completely or partially shut down because they have no customers. A payroll tax cut means nothing to someone who has already lost their job. No one is going to use a payroll tax cut to hire someone to provide service to customers that don't exist.

You get the point.

Expanding unemployment insurance and guaranteeing food security are good, common-sense measures that also have the benefit of being broadly stimulative. And this has been done before. The Obama administration responded to the Great Recession by greatly expanding access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, and that may be one reason to suspect the package passed by House Democrats may die in the Senate.

The Trump regime and congressional Republicans have done everything they can to cut the food stamp program since Trump took office and I'll be very surprised if they agree to expand it again.

The only chance this has of passing is if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decides that opposing it would be bad for his chances of retaining control of the Senate in November.