President Trump on Wednesday said he was no longer looking at a payroll tax cut, pivoting away from his comments just one day ago in which he said he was looking into the option amid growing concerns about an economic downturn.

President Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he was no longer looking at a payroll tax cut, pivoting away from his comments just one day. Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Hours after tweeting about a need for interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve, Trump told reporters at the White House that a payroll tax cut would be unnecessary because of the strength of the economy.

“I’m not looking at a tax cut now,” Trump said. “We don’t need it. We have a strong economy.”

Just on Tuesday, Trump confirmed he was considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut or other tax changes. In the past he has praised the strength of the economy while also putting forward a number of steps he may pursue that are usually reserved for periods of economic struggle. Trump has also doubled down on his calls for the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates.

Trump’s acknowledgment that he was reviewing a potential payroll tax cut came one day after The Washington Post reported that several senior White House officials had begun discussing the option. At the time, the White House publicly denied those discussions.

Some within the administration have said that if the public knew there were internal concerns about how to stimulate the economy, that that could be a cause for further concern. Still on Tuesday, Trump said he was open to new options, including a potential change to capital gains taxes that would give many investors an additional tax cut.

“Payroll tax is something that we think about, and a lot of people would like to see that, and that very much affects the workers of our country,” Trump said Tuesday during an exchange with reporters at the White House.

Millions of Americans pay a payroll tax on their earnings, which is used to finance Social Security programs. The payroll tax was last cut in 2011 and 2012 during the Obama administration as a way to encourage more consumer spending during the most recent economic downturn. But the tax was allowed to reset back up in 2013.

Damian Paletta contributed to this report.

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: