U.S. PIRG Statement on House Tax Bill

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Below is a statement from U.S. PIRG Program Advocate Michelle Surka on the proposed House tax bill’s impacts on our debt:

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, introduced this morning in the House, is an exercise in fiscal recklessness, exploding the budget deficit while failing to close the biggest tax loopholes and relying on gimmicks to obscure the impact on the national debt. Rather than make prudent trade-offs to achieve the President’s promised tax cuts, this bill twists itself into knots attempting to distract from the bottom line: it will add trillions to our deficit.

“This bill will balloon our deficit by several trillion dollars, just deepening the $1.5 trillion deficit hole that the recently-passed budget created. The economic growth that House leaders project to fill the hole is unrealistic and unsustainable.  At the same time, the bill fails to close the biggest loopholes and stop the gimmicks that actually cost the most, like the tax haven loophole, the carried interest loophole, or the pass-through loophole. In fact, this bill makes some of those loopholes much easier to exploit.

“Real reform has to start with closing corporate tax loopholes that unaccountably drain revenues. Instead, this bill tries unsuccessfully to fill the gaps by discontinuing some deductions for individuals.  Congress is ignoring the elephant in the room: our tax code is rife with opportunities for gaming by large corporations, and that gaming will add trillions to our already huge deficit.

“We hope that in re-working this bill in committee and in finding compromises with the Senate, Congressional leaders make what should be an easy choice: pay for tax breaks and stop passing on to future generations the problem of an endlessly growing debt.”