Budget Deal Shows Bipartisan Failure of Leadership

Dec 20, 2019 | Health Care| Taxes

For Immediate Release

Later today, President Trump is expected to sign into law a $1.4 trillion spending package, appropriated through two bipartisan bills at the elevated spending levels agreed upon this summer. One of the bills revives almost three dozen tax breaks that mostly expired two years ago and repeals three taxes that fund the Affordable Care Act – one of which is broadly understood to be a key tool in slowing health care cost growth. These and other measures will add $500 billion to the debt over the next decade and more than $2 trillion to the debt over the next two decades. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

The bill is so fiscally reckless, it leaves one worried not just about the debt, but about our ability to govern. Our massive and growing debt leaves us weakened and vulnerable and jeopardizes our position as an economic superpower. Keep in mind all this borrowing is not for policies that can be justified as pro-growth, helping those in need, or even good policy – they are special-interest giveaways that reflect Washington at its worst.

The half-a-trillion in new debt in this bill, combined with the $1.7 trillion budget deal earlier this year, means we will have added $2.2 trillion to projected debt levels over the next decade in this year alone. Already, the deficit was the worst it has ever been when the economy was this strong; there is no justification to worsen it further.

This latest round of tax cuts brings back special-interest zombie tax extenders that everyone agreed to let die two years ago and repeals the Cadillac Tax – something that experts from all sides of the aisle agree would have helped to contain health care costs. Due to the cynical actions of the majority of our political leaders, health care costs will grow more quickly, wages will grow more slowly, and special interest giveaways will continue to litter the tax code.

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For more information, please contact Ben Tomchik, deputy chief of staff, at tomchik@crfb.org.