Payroll tax cut not the answer to helping those most affected by the virus

After weeks of downplaying the effects of the coronavirus, President Trump's idea of an economic boost misses the mark.



March 12, 2020 - 9:47 AM

Photo by Robert Michael/DPA via ZUMA Press/TNS

Way late, President Trump is waking to the seriousness of the coronavirus. He’s taking aim at its devastating impact on a once-thriving economy. But his brewing plan for a cut in the payroll tax is a knee-jerk reaction that won’t help laid-off workers and ailing industries.

The White House response remains vague for now though it looks like Trump is pleading with Congress to shave down the federal levy as a way to put more spending money to work. He had success pressuring the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, but that spur hasn’t done enough. Cutting taxes sounds appealing but makes little sense when layoffs, closures and quarantines are the looming issue.

Better yet would be easing the hit on millions of workers who aren’t covered by paid sick leave. Democrats are pushing the idea, which was left out of an earlier $8.2 billion virus relief measure that dealt with medical care.

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