This would be a great time for Democrats to stand up and say they're absolutely opposed to this absurd payroll tax holiday before our social safety net is shredded more than it already is.
March 10, 2020

If you listen to the talking heads, the reason the markets came halfway back Tuesday is because Donald Trump and his minions spewed some hot air about tax cuts and stimulus and vague promises to make sure employees are somehow "protected" during this public health emergency. Example number one: Larry Kudlow managing to speak through his lunch martinis to try and "sell" (LOL) a payroll tax holiday.

In Trump and Republicans' fever dreams, they'd give employers a 0% payroll tax through the election. Yes, THAT payroll tax, the one that funds Social Security and Medicare.

As Social Security Works President Nancy Altman wrote in a statement earlier today, "This is a Trojan Horse attack on our Social Security system, which will do nothing to meaningfully address the crisis at hand."

Exactly. Republicans have long tried to starve Social Security and Medicare in an effort to kill it. Giving employers a payroll tax "holiday" through the election is nothing more than a pander to them for votes while leaving the beneficiaries of the safety net hanging by the threads.

In Trump's fever dream, he wins the election and immediately sets about the business of finally privatizing and making those cuts to the most successful social programs in American history.

"The only reason to support the Trump proposal above those others is to undermine Social Security," Altman stressed. "This is true even if borrowed federal funds are substituted for Social Security’s dedicated revenue. Under the guise of stimulating the economy, Trump’s plan to reduce Social Security contributions would either undermine Social Security’s financing or employ general revenue, both of which would set the stage for future demands to cut Social Security."

Meanwhile, Republicans are saying absolutely nothing specific about paid sick leave for all employees, a solution which is reasonable and also humane. That ought to be enacted immediately, just like Darden Restaurants (parent company to The Olive Garden and other eating establishments) did after Judd Legum wrote that one could get free breadsticks there, but employees would also be coming to work sick.

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has introduced legislation requiring "all employers" to "let workers earn 7 days of paid sick leave a year, and give them 14 paid sick days immediately in the event of a health emergency." That is a far better solution than shredding our meager social safety net any farther.

We're going to need to make a lot of noise about this and let the Dems in the House know that they cannot compromise on this. No payroll tax holiday. Paid sick leave instead. Give the corporations a tax credit for it, but we aren't here for any stupid "holidays" like that.

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