The policy was last used during the Obama administration in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis when it faced huge pushback from Congressional Republicans.
In 2011 and 2012, the former president lowered the payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2%, immediately giving American workers more disposable income.
The White House is nervous that something bad may happen to the economy. As an insurance policy, it floated the idea of using the policy Republicans once opposed before walking it back.
“If the mere suggestion that a recession might threaten their own election prospects is enough to send Republicans rushing to embrace an economic stimulus tool they opposed during the Obama years, that would be blatantly hypocritical and nakedly political,” Steve Wamhoff at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy wrote in a recent blog post. Read more