Issues for Congress’ Lame Duck Session

House Efforts to Make “Tax Extenders” Permanent Are Ill-Advised

While the Senate has pursued temporary extensions, the House has moved to make a number of largely corporate tax extenders permanent. And the House has gone still further by expanding one of the biggest extenders and making the expansion permanent, as well as by making permanent some temporary tax breaks that are not part of the traditional pool of tax extenders. The House has not offset any of these measures’ large costs. Read more

Related: Ineffective “Bonus Depreciation” Tax Break Should Remain Expired

 

Finalizing 2015 Funding

Our series of short pieces on congressional negotiations over funding levels for this fiscal year explains:

  • Why Congress shouldn’t pass another stopgap funding bill but instead agree on funding levels for the rest of the fiscal year.
     
  • Why 2015 will almost inevitably be another year of shrinking real (inflation-adjusted) resources for non-defense discretionary programs, which include everything from law enforcement and homeland security to veterans’ medical care, scientific and medical research, public health, education, and environmental protection.
     
  • Why the Senate approach to 2015 funding for non-defense discretionary programs better protects domestic priorities than the House approach.
     
  • Why the President’s requested funds to respond to the Ebola epidemic shouldn’t count against the 2011 Budget Control Act’s funding caps.
     
  • Why Congress should give the Census Bureau what it needs to prepare for the next census in 2020.
     

More: Federal Budget Analyses

Evaluating Tax Reform Plans

Budget and Tax Plans Should Not Rely on “Dynamic Scoring”

Congress should resist the temptation to use dynamic scoring, which would include estimates of how changes in tax and budget policy would affect the economy’s size and how that, in turn, would affect the level of federal revenues.

Estimates of the macroeconomic effects of policy changes are highly uncertain. And, dynamic scoring would damage the credibility of the budget process. Read more

 

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