One of the coronavirus pandemic-related executive orders signed by President Trump addressed evictions, but critics say it's a weak move that doesn't actually extend a moratorium. Instead, the order merely directs the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to consider taking action, Josh Blackman writes for Reason.
In short, the order instructs the two departments to look into identifying federal funds that could potentially provide assistance to renters and homeowners who can't meet their monthly rental and mortgage payments because of the pandemic. There are no guarantees.
The “eviction moratorium” is anything but. Asks federal agencies to look at the issue. Deeply misleading to raise the hopes of people that this provides any actual protection. But wholly unsurprising from President Landlord. https://t.co/50caRyaEo2 https://t.co/QKw93i2WM6
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) August 9, 2020
Similarly, observers believe the payroll tax deferral order was overplayed, since taxpayers will still ultimately owe the money next year.
Trump’s action will not lower the payroll tax cut he has long coveted. It will only suspend collection of taxes. Workers will still owe the full amount next year on April 15. https://t.co/LU6vAIcxRJ
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) August 9, 2020
Trump has said he'd try to terminate the tax altogether if he's re-elected, but it's unclear if he has the authority do so, and he would likely face bipartisan opposition in Congress.
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