White House touts payroll tax cut benefits

The payroll tax cuts President Obama negotiated and signed into law during the lame-duck session went into effect on Friday, and the White House wants to make sure the millions who will benefit from the law know it.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday that for the tax cuts to have a stimulative effect, the public needs to be aware they’re getting more money in their pockets.

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More than 159 million families will benefit from the $112 billion in tax cuts, part of a broader package agreed to by Obama and Republicans that extends all the Bush-era cuts.

Under the payroll tax holiday, the average worker will see an annual paycheck increase of about $700, and the average family will see an increase of more than $1,000, Geithner told reporters at a White House briefing Friday afternoon.

Economists estimate the U.S. is likely to see economic growth of 3 percent to 4 percent in 2011, and the White House hopes that the tax package will increase that.

Geithner said the White House expects 1.5 million jobs to be added to the economy because of the package.

The more people know about the tax package, Geithner said, "the more power it's going to have in getting Americans back to work."