As a dismal new jobs report is released, news comes from The Washington Post
that the White House is "seriously weighing a package of business tax breaks... to spur hiring." The news revamps an earlier debate
in the blogosphere back when the cuts were somewhat more hazy and
theoretical. Bloggers on the left and right are both welcoming the idea of putting a payroll tax-cut on the table. Many also wonder: why
did this take so long?
- 'Too Late'? The Guardian's Michael Tomasky
says that "these aren't bad ideas. Many liberals agree that a
payroll-tax holiday in particular is useful and stimulative and can
help foster hiring." But, he continues, "what I don't understand is,
why has it taken this long." Democrats knew, "in addition to the
economy, taxes were going to be an issue this fall too." It's possible,
says Tomasky, that it "just barely might not be too late politically"
for this measure. But it would have been more effective, he
thinks, "in May, or even February."
- 'When All Else Fails,' writes conservative magazine Commentary's Jennifer Rubin
wryly, "Democrats throw in the towel on their loopy economic policies
and resort to tax cuts." This does seem, though, she adds, to "[render]
the Obama economy policy entirely incoherent. If the economy is
worsening and they admit tax cuts are good, why eliminate the Bush tax
cuts," which the Obama administration would rather let expire? "What
sense does it make to give with one hand and take away with the other?"
- This Would Have Been Good in the Original Stimulus, writes Steven Taylor at Outside the Beltway, a point made
by Reuters's James Pethokoukis Wednesday, as well. Right now,
Taylor says, floating the measure "comes across as desperation" in a floundering
economy and looming November elections. It also
"further demonstrates that the current administration is hardly as hard
left as many critics like to suggest."
- Tax Cuts, 'Why Not?' asks an amused Allahpundit at Hot Air. Obama has already "tried Keynesianism," he observes. There's no downside, he thinks:
there are no other options for wooing back a few independents to the
Democratic side before November. The left will forgive him if it helps
to preserve the congressional majority in the Senate, and since the
majority in the House is a lost cause, he’d probably be pushed by the
GOP into doing something like this next year anyway. Might as well do
it now and take as much of the credit as he can.
But if the
White House is about to start pushing tax cuts, you do have to wonder
why it waited until September. For much of the summer, the economy has
appeared to be slowing.
- Stagnant Jobs Reports Says It All, comments The Washington Post's Ezra Klein, reviewing numbers released today. "No wonder the White House is looking for further stimulus measures."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
hhorn at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.