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White House official denies administration is looking at a payroll tax cut

Lisa Micheal 4 Aug 19
President Donald Trump during a cabinet meeting at the White House July 16, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Top White House officials have started to float a payroll tax cut as a potential means to stem an economic downturn, The Washington Post reported Monday.

A White House official later pushed back on the report in a statement to CNBC.

"As Larry Kudlow said yesterday, more tax cuts for the American people are certainly on the table, but cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time," the official said.

The report comes as President Donald Trump in recent days has lashed out over media reports about growing recession fears. He has hammered into the Federal Reserve and claimed concerns about a slowdown are fueled by Democrats and a sympathetic media ahead of his 2020 reelection bid. (The bond market flashed a reliable signal of a potential recession last week).

"Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by [Chair] Jay Powell and the Fed, but the Democrats are trying to 'will' the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election," the president wrote in a tweet Monday.

The Trump administration has not yet decided whether to push Congress to pass a temporary payroll tax cut, according to the newspaper. Still, the talks show the officials around Trump have worried about the possibility of a slowdown.

It is doubtful the Democratic-controlled House would even pass a payroll tax. The 6.2% tax helps to fund Medicare and Social Security, two massive programs Democrats have repeatedly warned against altering.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., has proposed a plan to raise the payroll tax to keep Social Security solvent.

A survey cited by the Post found nearly 3 out of 4 economists predict a recession by 2021.

Read the full Post report here.

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