Statement On Senate Tax Package

Statement from TCSStatement On Senate Tax PackageThe Senate squandered an opportunity to pass meaningful, deficit neutral, bipartisan tax reform.

Budget & Tax  | Quick Takes
Dec 2, 2017  | 3 min read

Statement from Ms. Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, on this (early) morning’s tax package vote:

“Today, the Senate squandered an opportunity to pass meaningful, bipartisan tax reform.

Instead, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a fiscally irresponsible bill that fails taxpayers by adding to our already unsustainable deficit and debt levels.

Even under the rosiest of official estimates, this bill increases the deficit by at least $1 trillion – likely more – at a time when our $20 trillion national debt already exceeds 100 percent of GDP.

The only other time our national debt level has been this high was around WWII.

Increasing our debt has more than paper consequences. Even before the added deficit from this bill, the projected cost of debt interest payments in 2027 was $800 billion – more than the budget of the Department of Defense. Increased interest costs, which totaled $240 billion in 2016, crowd out other investments and programs.

We support comprehensive tax reform that includes a corporate rate reduction.

But by lowering the rate without eliminating special interest breaks, this bill still picks winners and losers.

In fact the bill eliminates only 10 tax expenditures, actually expands 6, and leaves dozens of other breaks untouched. And by using the gimmick of expiring tax breaks to mask the true cost of the bill, it perpetuates the rent-seeking practice of tax extenders.

The cynical selection of expiring tax cuts includes the expiration of almost all of the individual tax cuts, but even Senate leaders and the President’s chair of the Council of Economic advisors admit that they fully expect to be extended or made permanent, which would further increase the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars.

And no credible score keeper has supported the idea that the growth effects of this bill will come close to allowing these tax cuts to pay for themselves.

Finally, this bill – a nearly 500-page document that was being drafted and redrafted almost up to the moment of the vote – was written in a rushed, closed process and the bill was approved by a slim majority.

Tax policy is too important to move forward without wider support from the public.

Durable change cannot happen without bipartisan support – witness the continual efforts to scale back and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The country needs deficit neutral, bipartisan tax reform. That is not what we got today.”

–Ryan Alexander, president