Murray-Ryan Budget Deal Cuts Some Waste, but Misses Chance to Close Corporate Tax Loopholes

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Dan Smith

Statement of U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Advocate Dan Smith on the Bipartisan Budget Act, introduced by Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) of the Senate Budget Committee and Chairman Paul Ryan of the House Budget Committee.


With our nation facing tough budget choices, U.S. PIRG applauds Senator Murray and Congressman Ryan for naming a few names when it comes to wasteful programs and special interest giveaways. This is the first step to ending the arbitrary sequester approach to budgeting, which throws the baby out with the bathwater.

 “The plan rightly ends funding for ultra-deepwater petroleum and natural gas research. Big oil companies should pay for their own research on how to drill. When it comes to wasteful spending, there’s a lot more low hanging fruit out there. This recommendation was one of 65 made last week by U.S. PIRG and the National Taxpayers Union, two unlikely allies that teamed up to propose deficit reduction measures.

 “Unfortunately, the budget plan fails to close a single corporate tax loophole. This is a huge missed opportunity. Loopholes in the tax code let large corporations use accounting tricks to pretend they made their money in tax havens, where they pay little to no tax. These offshore tax loopholes stick the rest of us with a $150 billion tab each year. Some budget decisions are tough, but stopping companies from setting up P.O. box shell companies in the Cayman Islands should be a no-brainer.

 “Next year, Congress is set to fill in the details of this budget plan, and debate comprehensive tax reform.  There’s much more room for lawmakers to find common ground by ending wasteful programs while preserving those that serve the public interest, and closing the loopholes that only benefit special interests.” 

For a copy of the U.S. PIRG-NTU report, click here.