Disaster Bill Should Be Paid For
The Senate has passed, and the House of Representatives will soon consider, an emergency spending bill for disaster relief. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:
When disaster strikes, we want to do everything we can to save lives and minimize human tragedy. It is important to get resources to disaster victims quickly.
At the same time, it is important that we do this in a way that does not continue to worsen our already fiscally reckless path by adding new costs to the national credit card.
Congress has been working on this disaster relief package for almost two years, leaving ample time to offset these priorities.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget recently developed a plan to offset up to $100 billion of disaster relief.
|Flood insurance reforms (raising premiums, deductibles, etc.)||$10 billion|
|Re-prioritization of highway and community development funds toward disaster relief||$15 billion|
|Farm subsidy reductions||$25 billion|
|Disaster relief oil surtax||$50 billion|
|Memorandum: Alternative Tax Offsets|
|Elimination of Intangible Drilling Cost Expensing||$13 billion|
|Elimination of Percentage Depletion for Oil and Gas||$12 billion|
|Elimination of Other Fossil Fuel Tax Preferences||$5 billion|
|Elimination of "SUV Loophole" for Vehicle Deductions||$10 billion|
|Reform of Low-Income Housing and New Markets Tax Credits||$10 billion|
Of course, there are many other ways to pay for disaster relief, and Congress should be willing to come up with a serious package.
We hope our leaders will act responsibly and move quickly to pass an appropriate emergency spending bill that sends resources where they are truly needed and is offset over a reasonable timeframe.
For more information contact Patrick Newton, press secretary, at email@example.com.