Sunday, December 27, 2015

Congressman Paul Cook (CA-08), Steve Knight (CA-25) Increased the Debt by Giving or Reviving Tax Breaks to Special Interest Without Telling Us Where They Will Get the $

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget [] said about the "Tax Extender Bill" that Congressman Cook just voted for:

"Although lawmakers have been adding to the debt repeatedly for the past few years, the $680 billion tax deal is easily the largest step backwards and is comparable in magnitude to the deficit reduction lawmakers enacted between 2011 and 2013. The deal easily swamps the net savings from the 2013 Ryan-Murray agreement, almost equals the revenue raised in the fiscal cliff agreement, amounts to three-quarters of the sequester savings, and is more than two-thirds of the savings from the Budget Control Act spending caps. ...
Lawmakers announced a negotiated package of business and individual tax breaks will cost about $680 billion over ten years. After interest, the cost will be closer to $830 billion over ten years.
The deal largely focuses on reviving tax breaks that expired at the end of 2014, making some permanent and extending others for either two or five years. However, it also permanently extends three refundable tax credit expansions that would have expired in 2017, originally enacted in the 2009 stimulus bill. The bill also pauses or delays three taxes from the Affordable Care Act, opening the door to further delays or possible repeal of the taxes, undermining the health care law's deficit-reduction and cost-control efforts.  ...

With debt already around its highest level as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) other than around World War II and estimated to grow with no end in sight, the least one could have hoped for from lawmakers would be to stop digging the hole deeper. But 2015 proved even that low bar to be too lofty a goal. ..."
Paul Cook & Steve Knight's vote for the Tax Extender Bill is unconscionable . Pelosi called it “practically an immorality in terms of ... how it damages the future,” later saying, “These massive giveaways to the special interests and big corporations are deeply destructive to our future." Hoyer called it “extraordinarily irresponsible,” explaining that “it makes almost sure that we will have to continue some type of disinvestment in our country because of lack of resources."
The tax extender bill is explicitly exempted from the PAYGO rule that requires that every new bit of spending (and tax cuts are certainly a form of spending) be offset. 

Republicans want to crush the priorities important to most people in the 25th and 8th Congressional Districts. Republicans want to use the deficit (that they just added to) as a way to demand cuts to programs that they don’t like—those that help the vets and retirees on limited incomes, children, the working poor & middle-class and their families.