Negotiators from the House of Representatives and Senate are about finished ironing out the differences in the tax bills they recently passed and plan to vote on final tax legislation the week of December 18. The conference committee reconciling the two bills was another missed opportunity to improve the legislation so that it really transforms the tax code without adding to the national debt. Instead, it looks like more gimmicks will be added that will increase the true cost of the legislation.
The House of Representatives and Senate have both passed legislation to cut taxes. Both versions could increase the national debt by some $2 trillion over ten years. That is on top of the $10 trillion that the debt is already forecast to grow by over the next decade.
The evidence is in and no analysis of the tax legislation in Congress shows it covering its cost through increased economic growth, much less growing the economy enough to put a dent in the national debt. If lawmakers are truly serious about encouraging stronger economic growth over the long run, they should consider real tax reform that does not increase the debt.
Former Senator Bill Brock (R-TN) is a member of the Fix the Debt Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council. In an op-ed in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, he calls for comprehensive tax reform that does not add to the national debt.
As tax cut legislation enters a critical stretch in Congress, Fix the Debt co-founders Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles speak out on it in a Washington Post op-ed.
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