In comments made today, the President makes an important distinction between day-to-day problems (that’s the lack of enough jobs) and structural problems (that’s the unsustainable budget path). Then he gently leans into another round of a payroll tax cut, an important way to avoid an economic air-pocket next year (since the current policy sunsets at the end of this year).*
“One thing I do think is important is … the need to accelerate the recovery as part of the overall package that we agree to,” Obama said. “I’ve long believed that coming out as bad of a recession as we’ve been in it’s important for us to focus on what the real drivers are of our debt and deficit problems. And that’s not the day-to-day spending. It’s the structural problems that we’ve had between spending too much money and not bringing enough money in.”
The cuts would go into effect over the next two decades, Obama said, so “that gives us a little bit of room to continue to do some smart things like the payroll tax cut that we initiated in December while still keeping our eye on the ball in terms of the long term.”
That breeze just picked up a bit.
* Very, very important: as is the case with the current payroll tax cut, the Social Security Trust Fund must be held harmless.