Our Enemy, The Payroll Tax

What Noah Millman said:

We shouldn't be raising the payroll tax - we should be cutting it, and offsetting the cost of the cuts with spending cuts (means-test benefits?) and/or other tax hikes that will be less economically destructive (cut the mortgage deduction? institute a value-added tax?). Either party could grab this - the payroll tax is a tax on employment, a burden on business that discourages job creation; a regressive tax on hard-working people trying to put food on their families that exempts dividend-clippers and other trust-fund scumbags; an inducement to hire undocumented immigrants who live in the shadows - there are GOP-friendly and Democrat-friendly arguments to cut or eliminate the payroll tax and fund our Social Security obligations in a more economically efficient manner (and then we could have a healthy debate about what that manner might be). There ought to be a bidding war over who will do more for payroll tax relief! Instead, we're going the other way.

Ross Douthat is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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