President Donald Trump on Saturday signed an executive order creating a payroll tax holiday that he hopes will become permanent.
"President Trump pledged on Saturday to pursue a permanent cut to the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare if he wins reelection in November, a hard-to-accomplish political gambit that some experts see as a major headache for the future of the country’s entitlement programs," The Washington Post reports. "Trump unexpectedly promised the policy action as he signed a directive that aims to help cash-starved Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. The order allows workers to postpone their payroll tax payments into next year but doesn’t absolve their bills outright — though the president said he would seek to waive what people owe if he prevails on Election Day."
"Major changes to the tax code fall entirely to Congress, so Trump alone cannot waive Americans’ tax debts or enact permanent changes to tax law. Democrats and Republicans alike already had balked at Trump’s push for a payroll tax holiday in negotiations over the next round of coronavirus aid, suggesting a more lasting tax cut may be even tougher to secure if Trump does indeed win reelection," the newspaper explained. "In doing so, though, Trump would be embarking on a fraught process that could have catastrophic fiscal effects on programs including Social Security, which watchdogs recently have warned is in dire financial straits, expected next year to have costs that exceed its total incomes.
The Lincoln Project, the group of former top GOP strategists striving for Trump to lose in November, blasted the idea in a 19-word tweet.
🤡 This defunds Medicare. 🤡 This defunds Social Security. 🤡 Tax collection is just deferred. 🤡 You’ll still owe the… https://t.co/p2X8aCSlLi— The Lincoln Project (@The Lincoln Project) 1596931564.0