White House Discusses Benefits of Extending Payroll Tax Cuts

The top White House economist, Alan Krueger, says President Barack Obama’s suggested extension of payroll tax cuts would strengthen the U.S. economy.

Speaking to reporters at the White House Tuesday (11/29), Krueger said this is a critical time for the U.S. economy because the recovery has been more sluggish than expected.

He said extending the payroll tax cuts would put extra money in the hands of American families and help sustain the economic recovery.

President Obama wants Congress to extend the cuts for 160 million Americans that are set to expire at the end of the year. The president included the extension in his jobs bill, and has repeatedly said it would be paid for and would not add to the federal deficit.

White House press secretary Jay Carney reiterated his call for Congress to pass the payroll tax cuts extension, saying “it’s the responsible thing to do.”

Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors Alan Krueger said, "This is a critical time for the economy, and I think it's a time where the economy can use more medicine to strengthen and sustain the recovery."

Kruger went on to say, "Let me just say that the, you know, recovery has been more sluggish than one might expect coming out of a recession because of the nature of the problems that created the crisis, because consumers build up so much debt that they're working their way down because of problems in the housing market. We're seeing the economy heal. It's just not healing fast enough. So these measures would help to sustain the recovery and, down the road, such measures wouldn't be necessary."

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