Should Obama extend the payroll tax holiday and jobless benefits?
August 16th, 2011
11:55 AM ET
7 years ago

Should Obama extend the payroll tax holiday and jobless benefits?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Now that the debt ceiling crisis is behind him, President Obama is ready to focus on the top problem plaguing the American economy: weak job creation.

Part of his prescription for 2012 revolves around cutting payroll taxes by 2 percentage points and extending unemployment benefits. The idea is give people more money to spend, which will entice businesses to hire additional workers to meet the demand.

Wait...aren't those programs already in place?


Filed under: Jobs • President Obama • unemployment
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    People keep asking him to cut taxes and give small businesses a break.

    WAKE UP. He HAS cut taxes and he HAS put small business tax breaks 1st. Some people just want to rant and rave and never do any research first.

    And those that are saying the Health Care Bill caused their ins. rates to go up? THE MAIN PARTS WON'T EVEN GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL 2013. I guess that Graham guy was right - this is just a nation of whiners.

    August 16, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. John, PA

    This is not an Obama decision! That’s up to Congress, Obama just needs to sign what the Congress sends him.
    Extend the payroll tax holiday YES
    Jobless benefits NO

    August 16, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Maggie

    Why don't Obama extend unemployment benfits to lifetime!!! By the time these extensions keeps going, people will be entiotled to maybe 10 – 15 years. This is ridiculous!!! The answer is to get jobs going for the unemployed and not unemployment benefits. Soon America will be known as the unemployed country with lifetime benefits. I wonder where he is going to find the money to pay for these benefits. The country is broke and he still wants to spend more money. He has no knowledge of how to get the job market working again so his only offer is more handouts. Obama has no sense of leadership so that's why our country is heading right off the cliff. He is a disaster to this country and the sooner he goes the better for our country. People you better wake up or soon China will totally own our economy by the time Obama gets out of office. I hope he is voted out in 2012 so our country can start prospering again under new leadership.

    August 16, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    yes don't extend jobless benefits for God sake.....let the ones out of a job that can't find work just go on welfare and get food stamps. Doesn't matter that unemployment checks actually go back into the economy, I mean even jobless people need to buy food, clothes and pay utilites. It always amuses me that the ones that NEVER want to extend benefits to the unemployed are always GAINFULLY employed themselves. And of course it's not a Obama decision but up to congress, but guess who gets the BLAME for it if it doesn't work.

    August 16, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    John, PA, President Obama doesn't "just needs to sign what the Congress sends him". He NEEDS to read everything and line-item veto what he doesn't like – just like the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue did.

    August 16, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. John, PA

    Extend unemployment is all Obama knows, he does not know how to create jobs. Pay attention when he is reading his teleprompter speeches, he always says he’ll have a job for every person that wants one. By that standard; who wants one; who wants to work when you can collect unemployment endlessly.

    August 16, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. kat

    The sooner we stop extending unemployment, the sooner people will get a job.

    August 16, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Wait...aren't those programs already in place?"

    Funny how CNN and the rest of the MSM purposefully refused to ask that very question when the GOP was arguing in late 2010 that extending the Bush tax cuts, which were in effect before the recession (didn't prevent it) and throughout the recession (haven't fixed it), would magically fix everything. The opint of the payroll tax holiday and jobless benefits are to STABILIZE the economy, not grow it. Nice job mischaracterizing it so you'd have a straw man, CNN.

    August 16, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    John, PA wrote:
    This is not an Obama decision! That’s up to Congress, Obama just needs to sign what the Congress sends him.
    So, the next time you whine about Obama not having a plan, someone like me is going to tell you that he doesn't need to offer a plan. The Constitution prescribes that the President serve to mediate the chambers of Congress, not to lead them, when and how he sees fit. In other words, it is an option.

    Thank-you, for pointing that out.

    August 16, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Inmyopinion

    Sorry GI Joe, the tax break you say Obama gave small businesses is a tax CREDIT that only applies if you hire a new employee for a certain amount of paycheck and keep the employee hired for a certain amount of time and give the employee a certain amount of benefits which at the end of the day is more money than a small business can afford so the tax CREDIT you talk about ends up not being a good deal, the person doesn't get hired and the TAX CREDIT can not be used at tax time because the small business either did not hire the person or hired the person for less than the requirements of the TAX CREDIT.

    August 16, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. maf

    @Maggie @John, PA The party you so desperately want to replace the Democrats and President Obama have done absolutely nothing – NOTHING, NADA to follow through on their campaign promises of JOBS, JOBS, and more JOBS in the 2010 mid-terms. The obstructionism shown by this new group of GObP'ers is bordering on treasonous!

    Hope you are able to KEEP your jobs, since the Party of NO is so hell bent on default, no revenue stream, extending the tax breaks and loopholes. . . . ad nauseum.

    Can't wait for the 2012 election when the GOP becomes the Party of NON-EXISTENCE!

    August 16, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. once upon a horse

    @ kat....
    but the Republicans keep saying there ARE no jobs. So where are they going to get oen? We hear goverment can't create jobs, then they tell us the President hasn't created jobs. I know so far waht has NOT created jobs, the so-called job creators that are getting the tax breaks to do so. I am willing to bet that over 90% of people drawing unemployment would rahter have a job. And I repeat if you're not on UE or have not or never been there it is very easy to sit on the sidelines and be critical.

    August 16, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. diridi

    GOP thugs cut spending...o.k, Blame GOP thugs....

    August 16, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    Maggie, you anger is directed at the wrong person. What the rethugliban/teabag candidates and their corporate handlers are doing is called extortion – vote for letting us continue to stomp America into third world status at YOUR expense or we'll take our minimum wage no benefits jobs to some other third world nation where we can oppress our workers even more. I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks like that is guilty of treason and should be cooling their heels in GITMO awaiting trial for trying to destroy America.

    August 16, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "The sooner we stop extending unemployment, the sooner people will get a job."

    Clearly, because people love being poor and destitute as long as it means they don't have to work.

    August 16, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Peggy - TX

    Wake up all you idiots that are just regurgitating lies and stupidity (i.e GOP speak) The reality is that there is only so much any President can to help get the economy moving, but it makes since to what ever can be done.

    Extending employment benefits just makes since because it targets those in need and those specifically that are need because of circumstances that they could not control or predict; also, these people are the ones most hurt by the failing economy, and most importantly, these dollars are likely to be spent immediately and will come back to the government indirectly as they churn through commerce.

    To simply say that cutting benefits will force them to take a lower paying job does not help the big picture as they will take away a job that another deserving person needs and wants. Also, to not help these folks will mean that many a family will simply go under ... maybe lose their home .. maybe loose their kids ... and be a further burden on the Government.

    August 16, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    The "Party of No" is turning into the the "Party of Whine "No""

    August 16, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Mikey

    @Inmyopinion "Sorry GI Joe, the tax break you say Obama gave small businesses is a tax CREDIT that only applies if you hire a new employee for a certain amount of paycheck ...."

    Sorry Inmyopinion, there have been a series of tax breaks for small businesses, not just one. Sole proprietors can now deduct their own health insurance from their SS tax (that's a 15.4% savings). Small business owners now have a credit for health care expenses paid on behalf of employees. There are three enhanced depreciation rules now in effect; increased section 179 deductions, bonus depreciation on new equipment, and vastly accelerated depreciation on new vehicles. Also, there are more business credits allowed for computing Alternative Minimum Tax.

    Those are only the ones that went into effect beginning with 2010 returns. There are numerious others. Please try to be informed before you whine about things. It would save you from whining and us from having to read it.

    August 16, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Marcus

    John PA – Do you realize that the POTUS has the right to agree or not (veto) with what the Congress sends him to sign?
    The previous POTUS disagreed a lot with the Congress and vetoed a lot of stuff, just like many other POTUS before him...
    So why THIS POTUS cannot have, in your words, the same right?

    August 16, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. JB

    Yes – particularly jobless benefits – that money goes right back into the economy, not some high dollar hedge fund like the bush tax cuts.

    John, PA

    Extend unemployment is all Obama knows, he does not know how to create jobs. Pay attention when he is reading his teleprompter speeches, he always says he’ll have a job for every person that wants one.
    John, how about you enlighten us all on what the republicans jobs plan is. They campaigned on jobs, jobs, jobs in the midterm and we haven't heard a peep – perhaps maybe you know the secret solution or you could elaborate on the republicans plan because right now it doesn't appear to exist. BTW, unemployment benefits are good stimulus. Lose the teleprompter schtick, it just reflects low intellect to keep parroting nonsense like that.

    August 16, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. Ray E. Georgia

    It is time to phase out Social Security back to the people. It is time for people to start a saving plan and provide for their retirement. Social Security has served it's purpose. Wow, what a concept! The question is, do you want the Nanny State or do you want to do it yourself. When someone decides to not send you your check, what will you do then?

    August 16, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Tea Party Mike

    Extend the payroll tax deductions through the holidays at least, may help stimulate holiday spending. But they have to end sometime not too far out. Extend the unemployment benifits also for a year, but with a modification that as people approach the 99 weeks max, the amount of the unemployment check starts to decrease. This would still provide some safey net and at the same time discourage people from staying on unemployment instead of finding work. Do not increase benefits beyond 99 weeks. If someone can not find a job in 99 weeks they probably will not under a longer extension. Time for them to fall off onto food stamps and other saftey net programs. These people likley need a new set of job skills and there are other government programs for that. Back when unemployment was in the 4 to 5% range, no one fretted about only 26 weeks of unemployment, so 99 weeks seems to me to be more than enough.

    August 16, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Blame Not Working

    Rudy NYC wrote; that according to the Constitution, the President has only an "option to lead or not when & how he sees fit".... Wow, now there' s a spin on the Constitution......but @ least I will give you credit for once telling the truth, because Obambi's greatest albatross is his unwillingness to lead. Obambi will go down in history as the worst President in history, even worse than James Buchanan, our 15th President , who sit around , refused to lead, he did nothing to prevent the Civil War.....was probably drunk, as he drank heavily.
    Why don't you guys stop your Lemming characteristics.....this nation cannot stand 4 more years of Liberal Obamism!
    The Republicans were in control from 2000-2006 before the Democrats took over congress in 2007. In 2006, the final year under a Republican President and a Republican Congress, the unemployment rate was 4.6%. Today, under Obama and a Democrat congress, the unemployment rate is 9.1% (according to the Federal Government – but 10.2% according to Gallup). Under Obama and the Democrats, poverty has reached its highest level since 1959. The numbers don't lie. The failed economic policies of Democrats have been destroying lives, wrecking our economy and shattering the American dream since the Democrats took over congress in 2007. The before and after statistics prove it.

    A brief history lesson:
    1977: Jimmy Carter (D) signs the Community Reinvestment Act, guaranteeing home loans to low-income families.
    1999: Bill Clinton (D) puts the CRA on steroids by pushing Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac (F&F) to increase the number of sub-prime loans (owning a home is now a 'right'.).
    1999 (September): New York Times publishes an article, 'Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending', which warned of the coming crisis due to lax lending policies of the Clinton (D) administration.
    2003: White House calls Fannie and Freddie a "systemic risk". The Bush (R) administration pushes Congress to enact new regulations.
    2003: Barney Frank (D) says F&F are "not in a crisis" and bashes Republicans for crying wolf and calls F&F "Financially Sound" Democrats block Republican sponsored regulation legislation.
    2005: Fed Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan voices warning over F&F accounting "We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk"
    2005: Sen Charles Schumer (D) says "I think F & F over the years have done an incredibly good job and are an intrinsic part of making America the best-housed people in the world.".
    2006 Sen. John McCain (R) again calls for reform of the regulatory structure that governs F&F.
    2006: Democrats again block reform legislation.
    2008: Housing market collapses: Democrats blame the Republicans.

    Obviously the Republicans aren't free of guilt concerning the cause of this crisis because they didn't try hard enough to prevent it and in some cases allowed it to happen (one of the reasons conservatives and independents disliked Bush by the way and one of the reasons that many of those votes went to Obama as a 'protest' against Bush's liberal tendencies). But as can plainly be seen the Democrats hold the lion's share of blame for the economic melt down we're currently enjoying.

    How can it be the 'fault' of the Republicans when the democrats are the ones that caused the current recession/depression and have been in complete control of the purse strings of the country from 2007 – 2011? Only in the mind of the socialist propaganda machine can it be 'Bush's fault' when 90% of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the democrat party.

    August 16, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    Still waiting for the boom of trickle down economics to begin creating more jobs for the unemployed as promised by the Grand Old Party of 2010 misfits. (Gave up on Reagan's promises years ago.)




    August 16, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Debbie

    Should they be extended? NO because extending the payroll cuts have proven that business still does not hire. So while it is an economic benefit to business in cash it is proven they do not invest that benefit in jobs which was the purpose of the first payroll cuts. Business/Corporations have cash, they just refuse to invest it in American jobs. So if their allegiance (business/corporations) is not to American's then they do not deserve any allegiance by Americans. Build, Buy, Hire American or recieve no benefits or investments by American's, our tax dollars, or our Representation in Congress.

    August 16, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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