Trump Executive Action Likely Worth $1,200 per Worker, Kudlow Says

August 9, 2020 Updated: August 9, 2020

President Donald Trump’s executive actions to suspend payroll taxes would save the average person about $1,200 over a period of four months, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.

“I think it’s going to be in a couple of weeks, and I think it’s going to come to about $1,200 per person,” Kudlow said Aug. 9 in a televised interview. Another round of stimulus checks and payments would be worth about $1,200, but talks about a broader CCP virus relief bill are currently in limbo.

In the midst of the pandemic, the president has repeatedly suggested a payroll tax cut, meaning that some money won’t be going to Medicare and Social Security. It’s drawn a rebuke from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

“With respect to the payroll tax, basically we’re giving 140-some-odd million people who worked through this pandemic, they’re heroes, we’re giving them about a $1,200 wage increase after-tax,” Kudlow said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump also extended federal unemployment benefits authorized under the CARES Act, although he cut them by $200 per week to $400 per week.

Kudlow said that it’s not clear if all 50 states support the new unemployment executive order.

“So based on our estimates, the states will be able to provide the extra $100,” he said. “We’ll probably find that out today or tomorrow as we make our canvass. We’ve been in touch with them. We have very good records coming out of the Treasury Department. But we will be in touch.”

Meanwhile, Trump also extended a federal moratorium on evictions that expired last month. The unemployment expansion also expired last month.

On Aug. 7, after talks broke down between the White House and Democrats, Trump announced he would need to take executive action; Democrats say it’s an unconstitutional move that will likely be challenged in court.

Trump said in a press conference on Aug. 7 that a number of his executive orders have gone to court, and the administration ultimately won some of those challenges.

Over the weekend, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that Democrats are still open to talks on a new relief bill.

“We have to reach an agreement,” she told “Fox News Sunday.”

“We’ve got to meet halfway. We’ve got to do the best we can for the American people. But what they’re putting forth does not meet that standard,” she said, following stalled negotiations.

On Aug. 8, she described Trump’s actions as “absurdly unconstitutional.”

One of the most contentious issues during negotiations is the question of whether to provide emergency funds for state and local governments amid revenue shortfalls suffered during the pandemic. Democrats have sought $1 trillion in their HEROES Act, while Republicans proposed no extra funds, with Trump arguing that it would be tantamount to a “bailout” of cities that have been “poorly run” for decades.