Donald Trump's odd Tweet from Saturday brought back thoughts on the payroll tax cut and its inclusion in any stimulus talks. And it wasn't an accident. While the White House has pulled back on campaign advertising amid a messaging shakeup, his support of cutting the payroll tax has its own advertising efforts behind it.
As noted by Washington Post economics reporter Jeff Stein, Trump has a desire to resurrect the push to cut the payroll tax. Citing a person who spoke with White House officials recently, Stein points out that the plan is already in motion.
Conservatives to launch six-figure ad buy — tv and social media — to get payroll tax cut in the stimulus package— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) August 1, 2020
"I've heard Trump wants to resurrect it [the payroll tax cut] ... Trump isn't giving up on it. I've talked to others in the White House who say they're trying to resurrect it," Stein shared on Twitter. Shortly after, Stein reported that Conservatives were preparing a "six-figure" advertising campaign across social media and television, urging the payroll tax to return to the stimulus talks.
"To put it mildly many ppl thought the payroll tax cut was dead when Senate Republicans rejected it in their stimulus proposal," Stein wrote on Twitter along with the first ad that will begin making its way around the media.
It is the work of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, including Trump's economic adviser, Heritage Foundation member and former Fed Board nominee Stephen Moore. The group was founded in 2015 to "combat America's 'growth gap'" and featured meetings with several GOP presidential candidates, including Sen. Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, and Sen. Lindsey Graham.
The ad itself is a mixture of "people on the street" chats regarding how folks would love to have extra money in their pockets from their paycheck each month. But as many have quickly said, this doesn't actually help those unemployed at the moment. It also raises fears that it is a backdoor attempt to defund Social Security and Medicare. It also has plenty of wrinkles that keep it from being a "magic" cure.0comments
"We know when high -income people get a tax cut, they don't spend as much as low-income people do," Urban Institute senior fellow Howard Gleckman told NBC News. "They're more likely to just keep it and save it...You don't get a great bang for your buck when that happens if you're the government looking for a stimulus."
As it stands, payroll taxes are off the table in Congress. And according to reports from The White House, liability protection related to the coronavirus pandemic is too. So there are still plenty of moving parts for the debate this week before Congress adjourns until September. Can a deal be brokered, or are there too many requests?