The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Feingold wants Congress, president to expand tax break for businesses

Sen. Russ Feingold urged President Barack Obama at a White House meeting Tuesday to support expanding a current tax break for businesses that hire new employees.

The payroll tax exemption, which has cost the federal government $8.5 billion so far, covers the hiring of about 4.5 million workers who had been unemployed for eight weeks or longer. But federal officials admit they don’t know how many, if any, of these workers would have been hired anyway without the tax break.

The tax credit waives an employer’s share of Social Security payroll taxes on new employees who had previously been out of work for at least 60 days. Businesses that retain those employees for at least a year are slated to receive an additional $1,000 tax credit. The tax break, however, is set to expire at the end of the year if Congress does not act.

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