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Op-ed Placement

Workers, Businesses Need Payroll Tax Break

Originally Published in USA Today on 7/22/20.

While much of the American workforce remains at home, there are still many out there working hard to keep the lights on. America can’t afford to continue providing massive unemployment payments to some, while leaving Americans who continue to work high and dry. The least we can do for these Americans is give them a payroll tax cut. Stimulus payments have been horribly mismanaged, but a payroll tax cut would provide direct relief to hard-working Americans and businesses.

As states reopen, and the economy begins to rebound, we should refocus on helping Americans as they return to work. In contrast to blanket payments and loans, a payroll tax holiday would boost incomes and provide businesses with liquidity. Letting people keep their money is the simplest way to get relief where it’s needed most.

A payroll tax cut helps those who deserve it most — businesses that in many cases must remain open, as well as their employees. A payroll tax cut benefits employers by allowing them to retain and hire more employees. Employees get to keep more hard-earned income instead of waiting months for a $1,200 check from the IRS.

A temporary holiday from the payroll tax achieves two goals, liquidity for businesses and added income for employees, while further stimulus checks balloon the deficit and may never arrive. Most importantly, a payroll tax holiday is the best way to directly boost household incomes. American families’ liquidity has been decimated by COVID-19, but additional monthly income would provide a significant cushion. Why make them wait for the IRS to get its act together?

President Donald Trump firmly supports a payroll tax holiday, going so far as to make it a requirement for his signature on any Phase IV spending. Congress should remember this as it considers another round of stimulus checks that reward people for not working. A payroll tax cut would yield real results in real time. These days, we owe it to hard-working Americans to make their lives easier.

Adam Brandon is the president of FreedomWorks.