September 20, 2014

Ignoring PAYGO, Lawmakers Move to Renew Tax Breaks

  • The nation's fiscal future depends on the balance between the spending in the federal budget and the revenues flowing into the treasury. Tax policy...

The House voted 274-131 earlier this month to make the Research and Development Tax Credit permanent without offsetting the cost. The vote was the first to renew one of the expired tax provisions known as “extenders.”

Making this tax credit permanent without offsets would add $156 billion to the deficit in the first decade alone, and would cost even more after that. This violates the pay-as-you-go standard that The Concord Coalition has long supported.

The White House has threatened to veto the bill unless the cost is offset by reducing or eliminating other tax expenditures.

Several lawmakers said they supported this particular tax credit but voted against the bill because it would add to the deficit. Sixty-two Democrats joined House Republicans in voting for the measure, while one Republican voted against it.

The Senate will debate waiving pay-as-you-go rules this week to pass its version of extenders legislation, which does not offset its $85 billion price tag. 

Instead of taking this piecemeal approach to tax expenditures and adding to our nation’s fiscal challenges, Congress should be taking a broader view of the tax code and using the expiration of the extenders as an opportunity to pursue comprehensive tax reform.