Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Media Coverage

Oct 11, 2017|USA Today

Trump to tout tax plan at Pennsylvania event with truckers

The Trump administration is also facing broader questions about how it will fund the tax plan. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the plan calls for roughly $2.2 trillion of net tax cuts.

Oct 11, 2017|USA Today

What Donald Trump is not telling you about his tax overhaul plan: Some will pay more taxes

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said delivering tax cuts for everyone would only work if there is a big budget surplus and low debt.

"That's the opposite of the fiscal environment they have now," she said. "If you want reform, some taxes go up, and some go down."

Oct 11, 2017|Fox Business Network

How Trump’s optimism helped the US economy

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya MacGuineas, CivicForumPac Chairman Ford O’ Connell and Fox News political contributor Tammy Bruce on how President Trump has sparked optimism in the U.S. economy and how the president can keep growing the economy.

Oct 11, 2017|Vanity Fair

Trump keeps accidentally making the case against tax cuts

Unfortunately, he either doesn’t understand or is powerless to stop himself from seeking adulation for the very things that experts say point to an economy that doesn’t need a giant, deficit-funded stimulus in the form of big, yuge tax cuts. As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Maya MacGuineas told NPR, “If we have a tax cut right now at a time when the economy doesn’t need stimulus and our debt is at near record levels, that will do a lot of damage for the economy and it will be a huge missed opportunity.”

Oct 10, 2017|The Washington Post

Some good alternatives to Trump’s tax-plan debacle

“With policymakers contemplating whether they should rely on $1 trillion or more of dynamic revenues to justify tax cuts, it is important to note that such dramatic gains are not realistic or appropriate to assume,” says the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “While one cannot predict the dynamic feedback of tax reform that is not yet written, $300 to $400 billion of feedback is a reasonable guess for the possible feedback from thoughtful and responsible reform. Irresponsible revenue-reducing reform is likely to produce significantly less revenue and would likely even lose revenue from dynamic effects over the long term.” And finally, we should not be worsening our income inequality problem in the name of growth. If you want to do middle-class tax reform and corporate tax reform, do those things. That essentially means scrapping the president’s plan and starting over.

Oct 10, 2017|CNBC

Trump again calls America 'the highest taxed nation in the world'—here's how the US actually compares

Regardless of how you measure the tax burden, the president's claim is not borne out by the facts. As measured by percentage of GDP, numerous European countries that provide more social services tax their citizens more heavily than the U.S. does, the BBC reports: "In 2015, the U.S. tax take came in at 26.4 percent of GDP, well below countries such as Italy at 43.3 percent, France at 45.5 percent and Denmark at 46.6 percent."

You can see this reflected in a chart by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in 2016, which uses slightly different numbers. By their calculations, Denmark comes in at over 50 percent. But the U.S. remains steady at 26 percent, significantly below the average of 34 percent.

Oct 9, 2017|NBC News

Trump’s Tax Plan Might Not Add Up

As it stands, the math might not work anyway: An estimate by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget pegged the cost of the initial framework at $2.2 trillion.

Oct 6, 2017|C-SPAN

Maya MacGuineas on the Republican Tax Reform Plan

Maya MacGuineas talked about the impact of the Republican tax plan on the national debt.

Oct 6, 2017|NPR

Speaking Freely, Retiring Sen. Corker Warns GOP He Could Oppose Tax Plan

"It's really disheartening to watch how many people are putting the debt second to their desire for big tax cuts when what we need to do is reform the tax code," said Maya MacGuineas, who runs the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscal watchdog group. "If we have a tax cut right now at a time when the economy doesn't need stimulus and our debt is at near record levels, that will do a lot of damage for the economy and it will be a huge missed opportunity."

Oct 6, 2017|The Fiscal Times

The Fed Has a Warning on Trump's Tax Plan

Fiscal watchdog Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget struck a similar note, telling NPR: "If we have a tax cut right now at a time when the economy doesn't need stimulus and our debt is at near record levels, that will do a lot of damage for the economy and it will be a huge missed opportunity."

Oct 6, 2017|PolitiFact

Are Republicans paying for tax cuts with reductions in Medicare, Medicaid?

Passage of the budget would tee up a 51-vote Senate threshold for the tax proposal -- easier than the regular 60-vote threshold for Senate business. While the spending cuts could also be passed within that 51-vote bill, the current indications from GOP leaders is that this 51-vote measure would be reserved for taxes, not spending, said Patrick Newton, a spokesman for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a group that is generally considered hawkish on deficits.

And if spending cuts to Medicare and Medicaid need to go through the regular 60-vote process, they would be highly unlikely to pass in the current Congress, Newton said.

Schumer’s office acknowledges such difficulties but adds that an existing "pay-as-you-go" budget law would require mandatory cuts in any case.

Newton added, however, that Congress has previously waived this requirement through legislation.

"Presumably, Schumer would be interested in ‘wiping the scorecard’ and avoiding those cuts," Newton said.

Oct 5, 2017|The Washington Post

Every lawmaker should agree with Corker on this

Alternatively, they might follow the suggestions of groups such as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which argues:

Instead of relying on magic bullets and fairy dust to pay for tax cuts, policymakers should ensure rate reductions do not add to the debt. Instead, they should focus on pursuing comprehensive tax reform as has been proposed by numerous commissions, committees, and tax experts from across the political spectrum.

By repealing tax preferences, broadening the tax base, and reducing rates, tax reform has the potential to reduce distortions, improve simplicity and fairness, and grow the economy more – and in a much more sustained way – than tax cuts.

In 1986, Republicans and Democrats came together to agree on a package that cut some tax rates almost in half but also broadened the base enough to ensure revenue neutrality. This model will do more to grow the economy – especially for future generations – than simple tax cuts.

Oct 5, 2017|The Hill

Deficit hawks voice worry over direction of tax plan

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan group that advocates for debt reduction, estimated that every $1 of tax cut would need to produce $6 of economic activity to pay for itself. The range of studies they reviewed estimated that each dollar would only produce between $0.10 and $2.35 instead.

Oct 5, 2017|Los Angeles Times

Republicans once railed against deficits. Now President Trump's tax plan piles on more than $2 trillion in red ink

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the tax plan would involve roughly $5.8 trillion of tax cuts over the decade, and $3.6 trillion of so-called base broadening, resulting in about $2.2 trillion of net tax cuts.

“We absolutely have to find a way to pay for this,” Marc Goldwein, the group’s senior policy director, said at a forum Wednesday on Capitol Hill. “If we cut the rates at the expense of higher debt, all we’re doing is cutting taxes today at the expense of a tax on future generations.”

Later, asked in an interview about the Republican shift, he said, “The hypocrisy is astounding.”

Oct 5, 2017|USA Today

How far is Congress from actually passing the Trump/Republican tax overhaul plan?

But an actual bill will show who the winners and losers are. And advocates for the losers, including lobbyists for corporations that might have to pay higher taxes and lawmakers representing states or districts that rely heavily on deductions slated for deletion, will be demanding to know why they should be forced to pay more.

"If you start with the idea that everybody's a winner, it makes creating losers hard," said Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Oct 5, 2017|Tax Analysts

Panelists Question Tax Reformers’ Commitment to Base-Broadening

With Republicans teeing up a budget resolution calling for a $1.5 trillion tax cut, panelists at an October 4 forum in Washington voiced concerns that tax reform was headed in a direction that doesn’t take base-broadening seriously.

The move toward a $1.5 trillion tax cut rather than revenue-neutral tax reform was a critical shift in the direction of the tax plan, and one that actually makes tax reform harder, rather than easier, according to Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which hosted the event.

Oct 4, 2017|NPR

Who Will Benefit Most From GOP Tax Plan? Early Report Suggests The Wealthy

"It's going to be hard to mold this into something where the middle class is the big winner. And the reason for that, or course, is that the upper-income earners are those that pay the most in taxes," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "If you're going to reform the tax code, a lot of times it's going to be the people who pay the most taxes who end up with those bigger breaks."

Oct 4, 2017|CQ Roll Call

Republicans Face Messaging Battle on Tax Overhaul

The Tax Policy Center, for example, estimated that the framework would reduce federal revenue by $2.4 trillion over 10 years. Another report from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said it could cost $2.2 trillion.

Oct 4, 2017|The New York Times

Fear of Federal Debt Has Faded, but Risks Remain

“We don’t have a measure of how much fiscal space we have, but a good political metric is to see how far we are from a record-high level of debt,” said Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan group whose name describes its views.

He noted that the debt was on a pace to exceed the high point reached after World War II. “I don’t want to be in the business of testing how far we can go,” he said.

The problem confronting those who want the government to reduce annual deficits is that the short-term consequences of profligacy have proved to be very modest, while the political benefits are substantial.

“It doesn’t take a political scientist to understand that taking stuff away is a lot less popular than giving stuff out,” Mr. Goldwein said.

Oct 4, 2017|The Washington Post

Republicans race to negotiate the future of popular tax breaks while shoring up party unity

“I think that the sales job of tax reform was botched from the beginning, in that the president was promising everybody a big tax cut and now they’re going down that road — and if there’s a big tax cut and there are losers, everyone gets upset,” said Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “The reality of tax reform is it creates winners and losers, and if we don’t want to create any losers, we’re limited to the tax cuts.”

Oct 4, 2017|Reuters

U.S. budget deficit could obstruct Trump's tax cut plan

“While policymakers are gearing up to address tax reform this fall, some have advocated for abandoning true reform and instead focusing solely on tax cuts. To combat arguments that such cuts will balloon the national debt, tax cut advocates have argued that the cuts could pay for themselves, largely through faster economic growth,” said the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington balanced-budget advocacy group.

“However, this claim is false,” the group said in a statement.

Oct 4, 2017|Politico

House and Senate GOP budget writers push ahead with no final deal in sight

“I think that dangling tax cuts in front of members has pulled them away from their aversion to debt,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said in an interview Wednesday. “There’s a lot of hypocrisy going around here.”

Oct 4, 2017|CNN Money

Conservatives hate deficits ... except when they finance tax cuts

And similar to deficit-financed spending increases, deficit-financed tax cuts may undercut whatever near-term growth they do spur, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget noted in a recent paper.

Oct 4, 2017|Fox Business

Tax reform debate dividing GOP's key players

New York, along with New Jersey and California, are considered high-tax states that give taxpayers a break with the deduction. About one-third of the value of the tax break, which in total is estimated to be $1.3 trillion in savings, is used by filers in these states according to a study by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Oct 4, 2017|Vox

What the Senate Republican budget actually means for health care

But the Finance Committee's jurisdiction is so broad that technically, Republicans could use the existing instructions to take up major parts of their most recent Obamacare repeal plan. They could call an audible, if tax reform becomes too hard or they find 50 votes for Obamacare repeal.

“They can do most but not all of Graham-Cassidy with the Finance instruction. They won't, but they could,” Ed Lorenzen at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget told me.

Oct 4, 2017|PolitiFact

Did budget director Mick Mulvaney flip-flop on higher deficits?

At an Oct. 4 tax policy panel on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, PolitiFact asked panel members what they thought of Mulvaney’s Fox News Sunday comments.

Marc Goldwein, the group’s senior vice president, said as recently as a few months ago, when Trump released his annual budget proposal, Mulvaney "called for revenue-neutral tax reform," a sign that he came into his new position as "one of the true fiscal hawks in the Trump administration."

However, he added, Mulvaney is "now saying that we need big debt to grow the economy. I think that's backwards. If you got Congressman Mulvaney from two years ago to look at this statement and told him that it was Obama's OMB director (saying it), I can only imagine what he would say."

Oct 4, 2017|The Fiscal Times

Here’s Why Trump’s Tax Cuts Can’t Pay for Themselves

new paper from the deficit hawks at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget takes on such claims about the wondrous revenue-boosting benefits of tax cuts and points to some of the abundant evidence that the theory has failed to live up to its claims. “While well-designed tax cuts may grow the economy (often not as much as tax reform), there is no case in which they could grow the economy enough to be self-financing,” the authors write. “At best, tax cuts can finance a fraction of their costs through faster growth – and maybe not even that.”

Oct 3, 2017|USA Today

Most older Americans don't trust Trump to save Social Security

On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to “save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts … Have to do it … People have been paying in for years.”  White House officials weighed reductions to the programs in the president’s proposed budget earlier this year but those programs were ultimately untouched.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, says Trump’s promises “sound very reassuring … but it’s actually jeopardizing the programs” by avoiding taking the steps to head off insolvency before the shortfalls continue to widen.

Oct 3, 2017|Bloomberg

The GOP Tax Plan Is Already Hitting Speed Bumps

Eliminating state and local deductions along with personal exemptions would generate about $2.9 trillion in revenue over a decade, according to an analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Even with those offsets, the framework is more than $2 trillion in the red, according to estimates by the TPC and Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget.

Oct 3, 2017|Bloomberg

Republicans Need Tax Principles. Like These.

Under a realistic tax system there will always be distortions. But the current U.S. tax code affects behavior too much. By not taxing employer-provided health insurance payments, for example, the tax code encourages firms to compensate their workers in the form of health insurance, which also increases the price of insurance. By allowing deductions for mortgage-interest payments, the tax code encourages people to buy bigger and more expensive houses. There are dozens upon dozens more examples.

There would be fewer examples under the Republicans' plan. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that their tax framework raises $1.6 trillion over 10 years from repealing itemized deductions.