Tax deal to put grab bag of tax breaks on the nation’s credit card

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Jaimie Woo

U.S. PIRG urges Senate to reject $45 billion in deficit-financed tax breaks


Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) today urged the Senate to reject the House’s proposed one-year retroactive tax extender package, which would add approximately $45 billion to the federal deficit.

The Tax Increase Prevention Act (H.R. 5771) overwhelmingly caters to special interests and fails to prioritize public benefits. While U.S. PIRG supports the provision to extend parity for employer-provided mass transit, the bill includes loopholes which will allow multinational corporations to avoid their taxes by making their U.S. profits appear on the books of in offshore tax havens.

The bill would also fail in its original intent to encourage certain types of business activity, as it extends the tax breaks almost entirely retroactively through 2014, providing tax breaks to businesses for things they’ve already done in the past rather than encouraging them to invest in the future.

“When Congress chooses to add billions of dollars to the deficit, taxpayers end up picking up the tab down the road through cuts to public priorities or higher taxes,” said Jaimie Woo, Tax and Budget Advocate for U.S. PIRG. “Tax breaks deserve the same amount of scrutiny as spending items, and the package shouldn’t be rubberstamped without taking out the pure giveaways to special interests.”

The bill comes on the heels of an initial $400 billion proposal, which fell through after President Obama threatened to veto it. Although costing less than the initial proposal, the unpaid-for bill up for a vote in the Senate would contribute to the nearly $18 trillion national debt.

“At a time when Congress has struggled to pay for public priorities like student loans and transportation, it’s ridiculous that they’re considering adding billions in special interest tax breaks to the nation’s credit card,” said Woo. “We urge the Senate to reject this bill.”