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Payroll Tax Cut Gets No Love

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call
While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers shouldn’t allow anyone’s taxes to go up this year, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus said later that the payroll tax cut is not high on the priority list.

“In 2011 and in 2012, President Obama made a big deal demanding that congressional Republicans cooperate in preventing the same payroll tax jump then. What’s changed? Certainly not the unemployment rate, and certainly not the state of family finances,” he wrote in a blog post. Foster said in an interview that while payroll tax cuts aren’t the best for economic growth, they are important to working families.

“If what you’re doing is trying to help working families, it’s hard to do better than a payroll tax cut,” he said, adding, “If what you’re trying to do is help the economy, it’s hard not to do better than a payroll tax cut.”

Foster figures that either Obama or the Republicans will propose the extension before the election, and the other side will quickly back it.

“I’m not sure why anybody running for election or re-election would want to run on allowing a big tax hike on the middle class,” he said.

Foster says Republicans generally don’t like the payroll tax cut as much as other tax cuts and are still smarting from the beating they took on the issue last year — but he suggested they should beat Obama to the punch this time.

“This is a no-brainer for them,” he said.

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