Trump admin. says coronavirus is reason to pass new tax cuts, less funding for payroll programs

Donald Trump and his administration are pushing Congress to pass more tax cuts in an effort to battle the impacts of COVID-19, which experts warn could lead to an outbreak of pandemic proportions.

"The Democrats in the House should propose a very simple one year Payroll Tax cut," Trump tweeted Monday night, confirming previous reports that he was eyeing tax cuts as a way to combat the spread of the disease, which is caused by a strain of coronavirus that originated in China.

"Great for the middle class, great for the USA!"

On Tuesday morning, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin further confirmed that tax cuts were being discussed within the administration.

"We have a sub task force set up with the Treasury to begin to look at some of the issues that you're addressing," Mnuchin told House members during a hearing on Trump's proposed 2021 fiscal year budget, after he was asked how the administration was handling the economic impact of the virus.

He added, "...As this progresses, we may come back to Congress and look for special actions as it impacts small SMEs [small businesses]."

Tax cuts would not help stop the spread of COVID-19, which can cause severe respiratory problems and has resulted in at least six confirmed deaths in the United States so far.

However, Trump and his administration believe that cutting taxes could help stem the economic impacts of a wider outbreak, which has thus far rattled investors and led to a massive plunge in the stock market.

Trump has pushed for more tax cuts since the GOP tax bill in 2017, which mostly benefited big business and the super wealthy. The tax cuts exploded the deficit, despite Republican claims that the cuts would pay for themselves.

The Federal Reserve also announced an emergency interest rate cut on Tuesday, the first time the Fed has made an emergency cut since the 2008 financial crisis.

The announcement didn't seem to do much for the market, however, which has held mostly steady since Monday's close.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. Attribution: Emily Singer.