Julian E. Zelizer – Obama is dealing away FDR’s legacy
With public attention focused on President Obama’s compromise with Republican leaders to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, there has been less discussion about a feature of the deal that could have enormous long-term consequences: the payroll tax holiday. Under the plan, which still must be approved by the House and Senate, the payroll tax would be cut by 2 percentage points for all wage-earners — meaning that a worker making $40,000 would receive an extra $800 in his or her paycheck over the course of a year. The White House and its defenders are touting this as a way to boost the stalled economy, and it might just do that. But they’re also playing with fire.