Best way to fight unemployment? Payroll tax cuts or Firing 200,000 people?

The Associated Press: AP Sources: House GOP bill renews jobless benefit

It’s hard to draw a sharper conceptual divide than this.

With unemployment hovering around 9 percent nationally, Obama urged Congress in September to renew and expand the payroll tax cut he signed a year ago, and called as well for an extension of benefits that can cover up to 99 weeks for the long term jobless..

It was unclear what changes, if any, Republicans intend to propose for the unemployment benefit portion of the bill.

A struggle already has broken out over steps to pay for the payroll tax increase.

Senate Democrats want to levy a 3.5 percent surtax on million-dollar tax filers to cover the costs, while Senate Republicans unveiled an alternative on Wednesday that relies on freezing federal workers’ pay through 2015 and reducing the government’s bureaucracy by 200,000 jobs.

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