Senate Republicans are getting ready to admit they don’t care about deficits after all


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A growing number of Republicans are reaching a consensus on the path forward for the party’s tricky tax reform math — admit they don’t care about the budget deficit and change Senate rules so they can enact a “temporary” tax cut that lasts for 20 or even 30 years.

Republicans broadly agree that they want to enact reductions in tax rates, especially the corporate income tax rate and the marginal tax rates paid by the most affluent households. But they also want to make their tax cuts permanent — unlike George W. Bush, who settled for temporary tax cuts in order to make his program eligible for consideration under the Senate’s special budget reconciliation rules and avoid a filibuster.

Under Senate rules, there are only two ways to make permanent rate cuts possible. One would be to obtain enough Democratic support to reach the 60-vote threshold necessary to overcome a filibuster. The other would be to pay for the rate cuts by offsetting reductions in spending or elimination of tax breaks — that way, the bill wouldn’t add to the long-term budget deficit and would be eligible for reconciliation treatment.

But it turns out it’s hard to do those things. Hence the growing enthusiasm for the big new idea: Change the rules and don’t do them.

The trouble with budget reconciliation

A reconciliation bill obtains expedited status in reaching the floor and can be passed with as few as 50 votes. But while a reconciliation bill can increase the short-term budget deficit, the Congressional Budget Office has to certify that it won’t increase the budget deficit over the long term.

The “short term” in this case is defined as lasting 10 years, which is why Bush’s tax plan enacted steep cuts that then expired after their 10th year of life.

Republicans …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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