Trump's Payroll Tax Cut And The Arrogance Of "Find Something New"

Trump says he will not sign another stimulus bill unless it contains a payroll tax cut. Congress has other ideas.

Trump's Red Line

The White House says Stimulus Bill ‘Must’ Include Payroll Tax Cut.

“President Trump wants to provide relief to hardworking Americans who have been impacted by this virus and one way of doing that is with a payroll tax holiday,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said Thursday in a statement. “He’s called on Congress to pass this before and he believes it must be part of any phase four package.”

White House Rationale

The rationale provided by Deere is flimsy. The real issue is that many people make more being unemployed on Covid stimulus than they did working. 

Anyone in that group has no incentive to find a job and work. Trump has raised that point and I agree with Trump.

Understanding the Problem

  1. No one should have an unemployment insurance incentive to not work. 
  2. What about those who genuinely cannot find a job?

In regards to point number 1, We have had months to figure out a methodology to ensure no one makes more unemployed than they did employed, yet no one has even started looking.

"Find Something New"

In regards to point number 2, Trump's daughter, Ivanka, says "Find Something New".

New Career Silliness

Let's train Java programmers to be bricklayers and bricklayers to be Java programmers. Let's also train hotel housekeepers to be auto mechanics. 

Of course, we do not want to pay any money for this training, people should just go to FindSomethingNew and click on something like Aerospace engineering and operations technician to discover "Employment of aerospace engineering and operations technicians is projected to grow 4%."

You can also find pathways to develop apps in Swift, Apple’s powerful programming language, become a registered nurse, web developer, or even a wind turbine technician.


You have all the key facts to find your new career.

What about the aerospace engineers, web developers, Apple coders, broadcast technicians , etc. etc, who are out of work?

That's the beauty of it all. They will not need much training to become hotel housekeepers or McDonald's servers.

It's Possible

Career change is possible. 

I went from grocery store assistant manager in Jr. College to a degree in Civil Engineering and work as an environmental engineer, to a computer programmer and eventually AVP at Harris Bank, to a computer consultant, to an economic writer with a series 65 investment license.

So, yes, it can be done, but ...

All Continued Unemployment Claims Top 32 Million Again

All Continued Unemployment Claims 2020-07-16

There are 32 million people on some form of unemployment assistance. 

For details and additional charts, please see All Continued Unemployment Claims Top 32 Million Again.

You would be lucky to retrain 200,000 of them, if that, and in what timeframe? 

More importantly, what will the rest of those 32 million unemployed do with their payroll tax cut?

Let Them Eat Cake

It is beyond arrogant to propose "Find Something New" as a general solution. 

This was Trump's "Let Them Eat Cake" moment.

Congress in Session on Monday

Congress is back in session on Monday. Senate republicans want to reduce business liabilities. 

Democrats want to extend pandemic assistance for something like forever, letting the purposely unemployed take advantage of the system. 

In the past 4 months no one bothered to address any of the flaws in the current programs.

And now, no one but Trump seems to want a payroll tax cut, but Trump says he will veto a bill without one. 

That's a bluff of course, and everyone knows it including Senate Republicans now willing to stand up to him. 

Cake for Everyone

The compromise will likely be some cake for everyone.

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Sandra Sinclaire 3 years ago Member's comment

In regards to the MSNBC video embedded in the article, we don't have to pay people to stay home, and we don't have to pressure them to go to work, we just don't have pay them more than what their salary was. I think people would be grateful to just keep making their salary. I still have to work, I'd be thrilled to stay home and do what I wanted, while still banking my same paycheck!

Dick Kaplan 3 years ago Member's comment

Mish, I love your articles and greatly respect your opinions. You are completely right on point #1. But there's nothing wrong with taking this opportunity to "find something new." I know many people who often had wanted to learn new skills - programming skills, graphic design, a new language, trying to be published, learning to play a musical instrument, mastering a new piece of software etc. but never had the time to do so.

Of course not all of these would lead to paycheck down the line, but with so many being stuck at home, unable to work, but financially secure due to unemployment, it is a great time to learn new schools, many of which can be learned online.

Roger Keats 3 years ago Member's comment

The Trumps should find something new, like leaving America

Texan Hunter 3 years ago Member's comment

@[Roger Keats](user:10012). Why don't you like #Trump? He's not perfect but until #COVID hit, he made America great again and the economy was booming. His COVID response has been a pathetic failure unfortunately, but he's been trying to balance his response without trying to destroy the economy.

Ayelet Wolf 3 years ago Member's comment

I don't agree much with Trump, but this is one area where he is right - it makes no sense for people to be paid MORE than when they were actually working.

Angry Old Lady 3 years ago Member's comment

That's a great idea Roger, but who would have them?