Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Concept_Debt

Year-End Tax Cuts Would Add $470 Billion to the Debt

Dec 16, 2019 | Budgets & Projections

For Immediate Release 

Press reports suggest lawmakers are negotiating a deal to combine year-end funding bills with a series of large tax cuts – including permanent repeal of the Cadillac Tax and two other taxes established to fund the Affordable Care Act, as well as revival of expired tax extenders. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated today that those tax cuts alone would add $470 billion to the debt over the next decade. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

This is an irresponsible deal that should be shelved. Congress and the President already granted themselves an additional $169 billion in borrowed funds for this year’s budget deal. Now, months into the fiscal year, they want to add hundreds of billions of dollars more – all on the national credit card? This is the worst of political deal-making.
 
The past few years have been an insult to budgeting. First lawmakers passed an addition of nearly $2 trillion to the debt with the tax cuts in 2017, then they added another almost $2 trillion to projected debt levels through two massive spending deals, and now they’re back pushing for another $470 billion of debt with even more tax cuts. All this at the time when the deficit is the worst it has even been when the economy was this strong.
 
Here in the real world, there is broad opposition to reviving the zombie tax extenders or cancelling one of our few tools to control health care cost growth, but in Congress the philosophy seems to be to give away as much as possible before the gravy train runs dry.
 
Policymakers should reject these expensive and unpaid-for tax cuts – as well as any other debt-financed measures – and instead pass clean appropriations bills to keep the government funded heading into the new year.

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