In an effort to stymie an economic downturn triggered by coronavirus fears, President Donald Trump has reportedly proposed cutting payroll taxes.
According to CNBC, while meeting with Republicans on Tuesday, Trump suggesting cutting the payroll tax, which funds Social Security and Medicare, to 0% for the rest of the year. The potential cut is one option in the president's expected economic stimulus package meant to minimize financial damaged caused by coronavirus.
Unfortunately for Trump, Democrats are opposing the payroll tax cut.
Instead, Democrats, who are working on their own stimulus package, want to broaden unemployment insurance, expand paid sick leave, and mandate free coronavirus testing. The payroll tax cut, however, is completely out of the question.
In a letter to Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) characterized the option as a tax cut for "major corporations."
"In light of reports that the Trump Administration is considering new tax cuts for major corporations impacted by the coronavirus, Leader Schumer and I released a statement calling on the Administration to prioritize the health and safety of American workers and their families over corporate interests," she said, the Washington Examiner reported.
However, Democrats have not always been opposed to slashing the payroll tax in difficult economic times.
In fact, when Barack Obama was president, Democrats supported it.
In 2010, Obama announced a payroll tax cut — from 6.2% to 4.2% — that he said would "create jobs and boost economic growth." When he extended the tax cut one year later, Pelosi praised Obama's action.
Pelosi said at the time:
Today is a victory for all Americans - for the security of our middle class, for the health of our seniors, and for economic growth and job creation.The American people spoke out clearly and, thanks to President Obama's leadership, 160 million Americans will continue to receive their payroll tax cut - nearly $40 per paycheck in the pockets of the average family. I salute the work of the unified House Democratic caucus on behalf of the American people.
Even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has done a 180.
Back in 2011, the New York Democrat criticized Republicans for "putting politics before recovery." But now that Trump is president, Schumer has had a change of heart.
"The president seemed to be focused more on the stock market than the pandemic," Schumer said Monday. "But unless you deal with the pandemic, the stock market's going to keep getting worse, and worse and worse. Deal with the pandemic first and foremost."
(H/T: Fox News)