Stephen Moore: Trump CAN Suspend Payroll Tax ‘Without Congress’

August 7th, 2020 3:59 PM

Economist Stephen Moore shot back at liberals and media acolytes triggered at a Wall Street Journal op-ed he co-wrote calling for President Donald Trump to suspend the payroll tax for the rest of the year.

Moore addressed his article’s core arguments that the president can suspend the payroll tax “without congress” on Wednesday’s edition of the Fox Business Network’s After The Bell. 

Co-anchor Connell McShane asked Moore if it comes down to an “end-run around Congress with the executive action—something I know you’ve suggested — critics of the move have said that it would also be an end-run around the Constitution, which gives the Congress the power of the purse. So, can this happen?” Moore took aim at those in the media attempting to paint his proposal as lawless: “The media has been all over this for the last week trying to find some constitutional scholar who will say that it’s not constitutional, but it is.”

Moore proceeded to claim that in the case of an economic emergency, “the president has the authority under the IRS code to postpone the payment of taxes.” He then reminded McShane that Trump had done something similar “at the beginning of the year, when he postponed the April 15th date for paying federal income taxes.” Moore said that the same thing could be done in the case of the payroll tax being postponed.  

Watch Moore’s interview below:

Moore’s op-ed, in particular, cited Section 7508A of the tax code. According to the Internal Revenue Service’s order concerning the recent federal income tax deferral, the Section 7508A provision “provides the Secretary of the Treasury ... with authority to postpone the time for performing certain acts under the internal revenue laws for a taxpayer determined by the Secretary to be affected by a Federally declared disaster as defined in section 165(i)(5)(A.).” 

Also, the IRS said the provision stipulated that “a period of up to one year may be disregarded in determining whether the performance of certain acts is timely under the internal revenue laws.” Although that specific IRS order on the federal income tax deferral did “not apply with respect to any other type of Federal tax,” the existence of the Section 7508A provision does provide support for Moore’s argument.

However, that provision fell on deaf ears for some woke blue checkmarks on Twitter who falsely seethed at Moore’s proposition as being lawless and unconstitutional.

President of the liberal and Soros-funded ProPublica Richard Tofel bleated in a tweet: “So much for ‘The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes[.]’ It’s only in the Constitution.”

Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy McCourt Chair Donald Moynihan couldn’t contain his rage on Twitter: “Another crazy WSJ editorial. 1. Congress has made clear it will not cut the payroll tax as part of the stimulus. 2. Trump advisor Stephen Moore says Trump should do it anyway, telling the IRS to stop collecting the tax. It's a lawless administration.” [Emphasis added.]

New York Times economist Paul Krugman tweeted out an article by Roll Call trying to cast doubt on the legality of the executive order to suspend the payroll tax. Krugman captioned his tweet: “The durability of Stephen Moore as the GOP's go-to guy on economics tells you something about the party. I don't think he's ever gotten anything — factual, legal, analytic — right.”