House Republicans proposed an additional $646 billion in tax cuts this week — a number that could grow to roughly $2 trillion over a decade.
Background: The tax cuts for individuals under the original Republican tax law pushed through in December 2017 are mostly set to expire by 2025. Only the law’s tax changes for corporations were permanent — including lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
Having come under criticism for favoring corporations over individuals, House Republicans are now pushing a bill to make the individual tax cuts permanent. But that bill can’t pass the Senate this year because it would need sixty votes to do so. This is just a last-minute campaign publicity stunt.
There’s another problem with this unreal shiny object the House Republicans have tossed onto the campaign field: The price tag for extending the individual tax cuts would be astronomical (which is why it wasn’t part of the original bill). This plan would add about $630 billion to the federal deficit by 2029, on top of the $1.9 trillion the December 2017 law is already expected to cost when factoring for higher interest payments, Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation said on Tuesday.
Typically, the deficit shrinks during strong economic times, as the need for costly government support wanes and tax revenue rises. For example, in 2000, the last time the unemployment rate was at its current level of 3.9 percent, the government ran a surplus, meaning tax revenue eclipsed all spending. But with the irresponsible — indeed, reckless — leadership we have in Washington now, the government spent $895 billion more than it brought in from taxes and other revenue sources during the past 11 months, the Congressional Budget Office said this week, a 33 percent increase from one year before. Corporate tax receipts fell 30 percent in the past 11 months, the CBO said, precipitated by the large reduction in rates from the massive tax overhaul passed by Congress last year. Spending levels have risen sharply as a result of a bipartisan agreement to shed budget caps put in place to maintain fiscal discipline and pour more money into both military and domestic programs.
Remember in November: Republicans don’t give a whit for responsible government. For them, taxes and deficits are all about publicity stunts to get re-elected. The last thing we need is to replace a fiscally responsible Congressman like Tom O’Halleran with a radical Republican like Wendy Rogers who would fall into line with games the House Republicans play with our tax dollars.