Krauthammer on payroll tax holiday compromise: ‘Selling crown jewels to buy crack’

Jeff Poor | Media Reporter

On “Inside Washington” Saturday, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer offered a contrarian view on the bipartisan agreement expected to allow for the extension of payroll tax cuts. An agreement many are hailing as the way Washington ought to work all the time.

That agreement would extend the payroll tax holiday through the end of the year, but cost the federal government an estimated $100 billion.

According to Krauthammer, there is no economic benefit in doing that.

“This tells you how bad our politics have become,” Krauthammer said. “Everybody here is so delighted that we finally have a bipartisan agreement and are celebrating it. Over what? … We have just added $100 billion [to a $16 trillion debt for]… a payroll tax cut that every economist will tell you will not have any influence on the creation of jobs or helping our economy. It is temporary and it will have no effect.”

Krauthammer explained that the way the government is paying for it makes absolutely no sense.

“And you know how we are paying for some of the goodies in that?” he continued. “We are auctioning off spectrum. Now you ought to auction off spectrum anyway. However, the idea that you are going to do that — this is a priceless commodity that the government is selling it off. Is selling crown jewels — it is selling the jewels to buy crack.’

“The payroll tax cut has no effect … it is going to make people smile for eight or nine months, $100 billion and we are selling, auction to do that. That’s the state of our politics today. And we’re all happy it was done on a bipartisan basis.”

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