Tax Extenders Should Not Add to the Deficit

For Immediate Release

The House of Representatives is considering this week the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018, which revives more than 20 tax breaks that expired last year, makes tax changes for disaster victims, and cuts taxes for select retirement accounts and startup businesses. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the legislation will cost $54 billion over ten years, and it currently has no offsets.

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

Haven’t we cut taxes enough recently? The deficit could reach $1 trillion this year, and we’re talking about widening it further? That makes no sense.

This bill would bring zombie “tax extenders” back from the dead – provisions that policymakers already agreed to let expire and didn't include in tax reform last year. And to make matters worse, it includes new, unpaid-for permanent tax cuts on top of these extenders.

We all support strengthening retirement security and encouraging entrepreneurship, but if doing so has a budgetary cost, it should be offset. The same should apply to the cost of any temporary tax extenders that merit continuation.

A constant stream of deficit-financed piecemeal bills is no way to make tax policy. It is unfair to keep placing the burden of unpaid-for tax cuts onto our children.


For more information contact Ben Tomchik, deputy chief of staff, at