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Payroll tax cut debate continues in Washington

David Gura Dec 19, 2011

Adriene Hill: Today, in Washington, D.C., lawmakers are back at work — which is different than saying they’re actually getting work done. House Republicans have decided not to go along with a bipartisan payroll tax cut bill approved by the Senate over the weekend.

Marketplace’s David Gura reports on where we go from here.

David Gura: House Speaker John Boehner said the Senate was “kicking the can down the road,” voting on a two month extension.

Howard Gleckman is with the Tax Policy Center. And he says that, from an economics perspective, Boehner may have a point.

Howard Gleckman: I don’t think it’s going to change people’s behavior very much if they think they’re just going to get a tax break for a couple of months.

Supporters of the tax cut say Americans will spend the money that they’re not paying in taxes — up to $1,000. Alex Brill is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Alex Brill: That extra money people will take to the store. They’ll go shopping, and that will get the economy going again.

But Brill thinks many Americans will just pocket the money. Howard Gleckman expects Congress will come up with some kind of deal, but he’s not optimistic it’ll be a one year extension.

Gleckman: This is Washington’s version of Groundhog Day. We have so much fun doing this every few months, we just keep doing it.

In Washington, I’m David Gura, for Marketplace.

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