Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Let Zombie Tax Extenders Remain Dead

Dec 17, 2019 | Taxes

For Immediate Release 

Last night, the House Rules Committee added a set of tax cuts to the year-end appropriations package, reviving almost three dozen tax breaks that expired two years ago and extending some that are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. As we wrote yesterday, the full agreement is likely to add nearly $500 billion to the debt over a decade. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

This budget deal just keeps getting worse. After massively increasing spending caps earlier this year and agreeing to eliminate important revenue sources designed to fund the Affordable Care Act and slow health care cost growth, policymakers now want to charge more to the national credit card by reviving zombie tax extenders. When will the madness stop?

Many of these temporary special-interest tax provisions expired at the end of 2017. Bringing these costly temporary tax provisions back from the dead is not just bad fiscal policy, it is bad tax and economic policy as well. Businesses don’t need more temporary tax breaks, and they certainly don’t need the federal government to subsidize and incentivize decisions they made two years ago. It makes absolutely no sense to pass tax cuts like this retroactively.

These special interest giveaways represent the worst of the budgeting process. Americans deserve fair, stable, and fiscally-sound tax policy. That is why a coalition of 12 organizations, from across the political spectrum, urged lawmakers to let these zombie extenders remain dead.

This entire package violates the House’s pledge to abide by pay-as-you-go rules. Passing hundreds of billions of dollars of tax cuts should not be needed just to keep the government open. Policymakers should reject adding to the debt with a year-end spending deal and instead pass clean appropriations bills to keep the government funded.

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For more information, please contact Ben Tomchik, deputy chief of staff, at tomchik@crfb.org