Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
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Senate Budget Plan Allows for $1.5 Trillion Added to the Debt

Oct 19, 2017 | Budgets & Projections

For Immediate Release

Today the Senate passed its Fiscal Year 2018 budget containing reconciliation instructions for tax reform. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

There was a time not long ago when many Congressional Republicans demanded a budget that balanced within 10 years.

Today, with their vote, the Senate GOP has turned away from this goal, sprinting in the other direction and instead approving a plan that allows for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to be added to the national debt.

While the House budget includes real savings and tax reform that doesn’t blow a hole in the debt, the Senate budget is just the opposite. No lawmaker can acknowledge our massive debt problem, argue against tax increases, and then pass a budget that only calls for $1 billion in savings out of a possible $47 trillion in spending and claim to be fiscally responsible – there is no universe in which this would be considered responsible.
 
Tax cuts do not pay for themselves. They do grow the economy, but that will only cover a portion of the costs, and we should be focusing on how to broaden the tax base to make up the difference. With over a trillion dollars in tax breaks a year, there are plenty of options. The tax reform framework includes some very good pay-fors, but it needs more.
 
Smart tax reform that does not add to the debt can grow the economy; tax cuts that add to the debt will suppress growth and do nothing more than provide a short-term sugar high followed by a massive bill handed to our children and grandchildren.
 
With debt under current law already at record highs and projected to keep climbing as far as the projections go, it is unconscionable that the Congress would pass anything that adds trillions more to the pile.
 
We hope that the final reconciled budget will look more like the House version and chart a course for smart tax and spending reforms that bring the debt down instead of up.

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For more information contact Patrick Newton, Press Secretary, at newton@crfb.org.