The White House signaled today that it would support a payroll tax cut that adds to the deficit.
Senior administration officials said today following the failure of the super committee that they would have a “laserlike” focus on the payroll tax cut and other jobs measures over the next month.
While they emphasized that the proposals can be paid for by a tax increase on the wealthy, they said the most important thing was to help the economy.
“The critical thing is to extend the tax cut,” one senior official said. “The issue was never ‘Do you pay for it right now?’”
The administration is eyeing an upcoming Senate vote on the payroll tax cut paid for by tax increases on the wealthy that officials called “a clarifying vote,” but they added that there are other ways that the tax cut could go forward even if Republicans block that package, as they have other jobs bills tied to raising taxes.
One official said that many people don’t realize that unless Congress acts, a typical family with $50,000 in wages will receive a $1,000 tax hike instead of the additional $500 tax cut President Barack Obama is proposing. The White House aims to change that with a message that Congress cannot go home for the year without preventing that tax increase.