Lawmakers Should Avoid Year-End Tax Cut Binge

According to press reports, lawmakers are considering a year-end tax package that would combine a temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit with the temporary restoration or extension of several business tax breaks. One proposal would apparently cost nearly $100 billion to keep these provisions in place through 2025. Making such a package permanent could cost over $800 billion through 2033.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

With interest costs surging and debt approaching record levels, is Congress really discussing more tax cuts? Can politicians really just not help themselves?

It feels like every time we take one step forward, someone tries to pull us two steps backward. 

Certainly, there’s a case for improving the tax code to better support business investment and children in need. But we shouldn’t just add the cost to the nation’s credit card. That extra borrowing will crowd out investment and further burden our children with debt and slower growth.

Rather than adding to the cost of possible extensions of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, policymakers should be working to rein in those costs and ensure any extension is at least budget neutral. 

Now is not the time to be expanding our budget deficits. Like a toddler picking at a scab, lawmakers can’t seem to stop making things worse, but the country will pay a large price if they can’t soon get control of themselves. 


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