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The logic of cutting payroll taxes

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Payroll taxes are by no means the only thing that stops people from working, but one of President Obama’s payroll tax cut proposals could nonetheless create a million or more jobs.

Last week I estimated that the president’s proposal to cut the employer portion of the payroll tax by 3.1 percentage points could raise employment by more than a million, and maybe as much as three million.

You might (as some readers wrote to me) think that a payroll tax cut is not, by itself, a good reason for employers to hire, and on that basis conclude that my estimate is way off.

I agree that jobs are not created by payroll tax cuts alone, and my estimate reflects that fact. About 131 million adults are working now, and 109 million adults are not working. If I’m right that the payroll tax cut would raise employment by one million to three million, that means that 106 million to 108 million adults would still not be working despite the payroll tax cut.

Read more in today's New York Times.

 

 
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