• The negative fiscal impact of letting the payroll tax cut expire could readily be offset (and a more potent, more immediate boost enacted) by replacing it with something like:

    a) a two-year increase of, say, $800 in the standardized deduction for filers with adjusted gross incomes of less than $100,000 (or so) — or $1,000 for joint filers under, say, $150,000.

    or

    b) a new version of the Making Work Pay tax credit, perhaps making it more progressive.