12 Days of Taxes: If the GOP gets its way, tax bill cost could be as high as $2.2 trillion, new report shows

INDIANAPOLIS – Previous reports on the McConnell tax bill showing it would add to the deficit have actually undersold how reckless it is, with a pragmatic new look at the plan reporting that it may ultimately add as much as $2.2 trillionto the debt this decade.

A new report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) chides the Republican congress for using “as much as $725 billion of potential gimmicks” to hide the true cost of the McConnell tax bill. While the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) has claimed that the bill would add as much as roughly $1.5 trillion to the national debt over ten years, CRFB claims that the committee uses a flawed understanding of the bill. By their analysis, the ultimate cost will be closer to $2.2 trillion.

The discrepancy primarily comes down to the fact that most of the tax cuts for individuals are written to be temporary in order to help Mitch McConnell pass his bill out of the Senate with only Republican votes. In practice, Republicans have actually treated the individual tax cuts as permanent, assuming that future Congresses will simply renew the cuts for individuals when they expire rather than be perceived as raising taxes. There’s plenty of historical precedent for this, most recently with the renewal of the temporary Bush tax cuts for more than 95% of Americans in early 2013.

The JCT’s analysis does not take these renewals into account, assuming instead that the taxes will expire as written, increasing tax revenues towards the end of the window so that the national debt rises by “only” an additional $1.5 trillion.

“Republicans like Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita spent years assailing rising debts, only to reveal themselves as hypocrites when they plowed forward in support of the McConnell tax bill despite numerous independent reports revealing how harmful the plan would be for our budget. Now, it appears that those reports still managed to undersell how bad this bill would be,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “It’s time for Republicans to stop trying to hide the full impact of their bill behind legislative gimmicks and come clean about the damage it will do to our nation’s future.”

This release is part of day eight of the Indiana Democrats’ 12 Days of Taxes, a daily series highlighting the problems the McConnell tax bill would create if passed this holiday season. While the McConnell plan would raise taxes on middle class Americans to fund more tax breaks for the wealthy and major corporations, its consequences stretch across American life.

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