Tax Blueprint Must Focus More on Offsets

For Immediate Release

Today the “Big 6” unveiled a blueprint for tax reform. The following is a statement from Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget president Maya MacGuineas:

Tax cuts shouldn’t be handed out like Halloween candy. To grow the economy, they must be paid for, and the details of this plan appear to come up $2 to 2.5 trillion short.

Deficit-financed tax cuts are a recipe for a short-term economic sugar high followed by sluggish long-term growth.

Without sufficient details on how or even if these tax cuts will be fully paid for, this outline is nothing more than a fiscal fantasy. 

Tax reform remains one of the most important national objectives. Fiscally responsible tax reform would not only improve simplicity and fairness, but can actually grow the economy and help to improve the dangerous fiscal situation we face. 

But the difference between tax reform that would grow the economy and tax cuts that would grow the debt cannot be made up for with wishful thinking or magical economic growth. And tax cuts certainly don’t pay for themselves.

If we end up taking the easy way out with budget-busting tax cuts, all we’ll really end up with is a massive tax bill for future generations.

There are a lot of ideas and options for offsets, and if leaders are willing to make the tough choices, it is certainly possible they will be able to pay for this tax plan – the whole thing, not all but $1.5 trillion as some have suggested. Instead of focusing only on the rates cuts and other goodies, it is time to talk about the tradeoffs and other necessary base broadening reforms as well.


For more information contact Patrick Newton, Press Secretary, at

For comprehensive information on tax reform, check out CRFB’s Resources for Tax Reform.