President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the White House is considering enacting a payroll tax cut among other “various tax rate reductions,” though he also emphasized that the U.S. economy is strong right now.
“We’re looking at various tax rate deductions but I’m looking at that all the time … that’s one of the reasons we’re in such a strong economic position,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
“Payroll tax is something that we think about and a lot of people would like to see that, and that very much affects the workers of our country,” the president said, as CNN noted.
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But the president clarified that he’s “not looking to do anything at this moment” in regard to either of those tax cuts.
Payroll taxes consist of the 6.2 percent of earnings that millions of American workers pay the government. The money is usually used to fund social safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare.
Former President Barack Obama cut the payroll tax to 4.2 percent in 2011 and 2012, and according to CNN, the cuts translated into $83 a month in savings for a worker making $50,000 a year.
But the payroll tax cut expired in 2013 and was not extended.
The Washington Post reported some White House officials have supported a payroll tax cut as a means of ensuring consumers take home more money from their paychecks, then drive economic growth by spending it.
Initially, the White House denied to The Post that such a move was under consideration.
Republicans have traditionally been hesitant to support payroll tax cuts, “believing the impact of such changes to be inefficient and temporary,” according to The Post.
Trump, for his part, is continuing to highlight the current strength of the U.S. economy, even as some experts predict a looming recession.
When asked Tuesday what he’s doing to “stave off” a recession, Trump responded, “I’d like to see a cut of the Fed rate, because they should have happened a long time ago.”
“I think they’re being very tardy not doing it and not having done it,” he said, according to a White House media pool report.
Despite his displeasure with the Federal Reserve, Trump said that “our economy’s grown fantastically.”
“We’re right now, the No. 1 country anywhere in the world by far as the economy,” Trump said.
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