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The Tax Cut Debate: The Latest Train Wreck Waiting To Happen

Gwen's Take

As I prepared for a PBS NewsHour discussion about the prospects of extending and expanding the year-old payroll tax holiday, I knew the challenges that lay ahead. And that was before the Senate confirmed my pessimism by rejecting not one, but two, proposals to grant Americans year-end tax relief late Thursday.

This time, I hoped for a little more nuance. After all, both sides say they agree that now is not the time to allow a tax cut to lapse that has saved many families as much as $1,000 this year. Plus, the proposal now on the table would boost those savings to $1,500, while cutting payroll taxes for small businesses as well. What’s not to like at holiday time?

PBS NewsHour: How Would Payroll Tax Extensions Be Funded?

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President Obama wants to extend a payroll tax cut and many Republicans do too, but both sides are far apart on how to get it done. Gwen Ifill discusses how the extension could be funded with White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.