The Washington Post’s Ezra Kline wrote about Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ (who is absolutely, in no way, contemplating a ‘12 GOP Presidential campaign; he’s just trying to be helpful) recently announced plan for stimulating the economy nationally:
From my reporting, the problem wouldn’t be in the White House. It would be in Congress. I’ve asked a number of Republican offices whether they’d be willing to work with the Democrats on a payroll-tax holiday. Without fail, they’ve told me no, that they no longer support a payroll-tax holiday given the size of the deficit.
Hey, what’s the centerpiece of Rob Portman’s jobs plan (pg. 6)?
Suspend the Payroll Tax Now. Washington should take immediate action to stimulate the economy and create jobs by providing a one year suspension of the payroll tax. This would put needed stimulus
dollars in the hands of small businesses and individuals without government interference. Payroll taxes on the first $50,000 in wages and self-employment profits would be waived for one year, providing comprehensive relief to low and moderate income workers.
Portman’s plan to pay for it? Use unspent stimulus dollars that the Congressional GOP leadership has declared should not be spent at all. In other words, Portman’s plan to pay for his payroll tax holiday is no different than the plan to repay the very stimulus he attacks on being paid for . . . by borrowing money.
I wonder when someone is going to ask Portman if the stimulus is bad for being dependent on borrowed money, then why is paying for his payroll tax holiday (that most economist say would do very little to create jobs) any different?