Apparently David Axelrod was off-message this morning when he stated that the administration would refuse to push parts of the “jobs bill” as individual measures. The Hill reports that the White House has communicated that Obama would, in fact, sign parts of the plan as standalone bills. “Senior administration officials” explicitly told The Hill that Obama would not veto the payroll tax cuts.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, opposing the payroll tax cuts in order to make Republicans look bad would have been a losing strategy for Obama. Cutting payroll taxes is a winner for Obama, politically and substantively. The only downside for him is that getting the tax cuts through a Republican house would give the GOP at least one example of an issue on which they worked with Obama, thereby seriously undercutting the campaign narrative that Republicans are driven by mere obstructionism.
That said, there still remains the significant obstacle that Obama wants to pay for the plan, or any part of the plan, with giant tax hikes.