The White House may be looking at a temporary payroll tax cut to stimulate the economy amid recent concerns that a recession may be looming. That's according to separate reports in The Washington Post and The New York Times.
Both reports cite "people familiar with the discussions." The Post report says the talks are in early stages and that other tax breaks are under consideration to boost the economy. But, there reportedly has not been a decision on whether to push the plan toward Congress for approval.
President Donald Trump pushed back on the reports Tuesday saying they're looking at tax cut proposals, but not as a response to a potential recession.
"I'm looking at that all the time anyway," Trump said. The president talked about the economy and trade with China during a meeting Tuesday in the Oval Office with the president of Romania.
Trump said his administration is looking at a cut in the capital gains tax when investors sell assets. It is also exploring lower payroll taxes.
But mostly, Trump is pressuring the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates. He says, "They have to do a rate cut."
Trump argued that the word recession is "inappropriate" and if the Fed would do its job, "you would see a burst of growth like you've never seen before."
He also previously accused Democrats of trying to "will" the economy to deteriorate ahead of the 2020 election.
Economists and investors will be closely watching a speech Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will give Friday at the Fed's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for signals of whether the central bank is prepared to embark on a series of rate cuts to energize the U.S. economy.
The Fed on July 31 cut its key policy rate for the first time in more than a decade, reducing it by a quarter-point to a range of 2% to 2.25%. It cited a number of "uncertainties" that were threatening the country's decade-long expansion, from Trump's trade battles to slowing global growth.
Trump has an average approval rating of 42%, according to multiple polls tracked by fivethirtyeight.com. A strong economy is key to Trump's re-election prospects. Consumer confidence has dropped 6.4% since July.
At a rally in New Hampshire last week, he told Americans that they needed to vote for him in 2020 "whether you love me or hate me" to keep their financial security.