Frances Ball 22 Aug 2019 10:07am

Trump considers payroll tax cut to boost US economy

“Payroll tax is something that we think about, and a lot of people would like to see that,” Donald Trump told reporters, despite the White House previously denying the measure was under consideration

Many Americans currently pay 6.2% of their salary in payroll tax, which funds social safety net programmes including Medicare.

The president signed a $1.5trn (£1.2trn) tax cut into law in 2017, and the White House has predicted that the deficit will exceed $1trn for the fiscal year to September 30.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the president was asked whether his administration was considering the tax cut to combat a potential economic slowdown.

“I think the word recession is a word that’s inappropriate because it’s a word that the certain people – I’m going to be kind – certain people, and the media, are trying to build up because they’d love to see a recession,” the president responded. “We’re very far from a recession. In fact, if the Fed would do its job, I think we’d have a tremendous spurt of growth.”

A White House spokesperson had denied earlier reports of the potential tax cut on Monday. Although Trump contradicted that position by confirming that the tax was under consideration, he did not suggest that it would be imminent, saying that he was “not talking about doing anything at this moment”.

During the press conference he accused the media of purposefully aiming to “crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election”.

Yesterday he reiterated that position, tweeting from his personal account that “The Fake News LameStream Media is doing everything possible [to] ‘create’ a US recession, even though the numbers & facts are working totally in the opposite direction. They would be willing to hurt many people, but that doesn’t matter to them. Our economy is sooo strong, sorry!”