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:
Politically, 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.