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The Biggest Policy Issues Missing from the Campaign

Matthew O'Brien

MO: The debates are finally over and there's just over a a week until Election Day. What issue do you think didn't get enough attention during the four presidential and vice-presidential debates?

It's certainly going to be close. But regardless of who wins, the immediate question will be what happens with the fiscal cliff. My colleague Derek Thompson pointed out how surprising it is that neither candidate has come out for extending the payroll tax cut Goldman's chief economist estimates the payroll tax cut lapsing would hurt the economy just as much as QE3 will help it.

Making it revenue neutral is an interesting idea. Chuck Marr at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities had a chart comparing how much bang for the buck we get from the payroll tax cut and from the high end Bush tax cuts Spoiler alert: the payroll tax cut is much more stimulative Even a revenue neutral plan where you offset a payroll tax holiday with higher taxes on higher earners would most certainly be a net plus for jobs.

Exactly. Tax reform sounds great in theory, so people on both sides tout it. But as far as pressing problems go, I'd rank it much lower How about putting people back to work first? 

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