Spending Cuts Make Good Offsets Too

The extenders bill the House is considering would cost $190 billion between 2010-2020. Only $56 billion of that would be offset.

Emergency designations and PAYGO loopholes aside, we think more (like all) of the bill should be paid for, a belief that seems hard to argue against when staring at a mountain of $8.5 trillion in debt. (If you want to visualize that mountain, picture $100 bills stacked 5,695 miles high.)

So far the offsets in the House bill include:

  • Taxation of carried interest ($30 billion)
  • Oil spill liability tax ($11 billion)
  • Other revenue increases ($15 billion)

But all the proposed offsets are tax increases. May we suggest that spending cuts make excellent offsets as well.

The CBO offers a good list of potential candidates. Or take a run at our Stabilize the Debt! simulator. We at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget will soon be offering more potential offsets on our blog – stay tuned, or send us ideas of your own.