I would institute an immediate and permanent reduction in the payroll tax, financed by a gradual, permanent, and substantial increase in the gasoline tax. I would make the two tax changes equal in present value, so while the package results in a short-run budget deficit, there is no long-term budget impact. Call it the create-jobs, save-the-environment, reduce-traffic-congestion, budget-neutral tax shift.
Amitai Etzioni proposes another:
The government should not collect Social Security taxes for one month — as long as the Obama administration commits the government to collect it for a 13th month once the economy is growing again at a fair pace … Last but not least, the Social Security tax is famously regressive. Hence, cutting it would put proportionally more money into the pockets of people most likely to spend it all in short order, a key goal for any stimulus.
Both proposals have no effect on after-tax lifetime income so if one is a proponent of Friedman’s permanent income hypothesis or the Ando-Modigliani lifecycle view of consumption or the Barro reformulation of Ricardian Equivalence – then deferring taxation would not be seen as encouraging more current consumption according to this theory. Then again - Mark Thoma reminds us that this theory may not work so well in practice.