BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Roundup: Analyzing the Senate Budget Resolution
The Senate is expected to vote this week on its fiscal year 2018 budget resolution. Broadly, the budget:
- paves the way for a fast-track partisan process to pass tax-cut legislation that would add $1.5 trillion to deficits over the next decade and would primarily benefit the wealthy and corporations;
- calls for $5.8 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade, including cuts to a broad range of basic public services, assistance for low- and moderate-income Americans, and health care;
- would leave most low- and middle-income Americans worse off; and
- uses rosy economic assumptions to mask the size of future deficits.
We’ve collected our analysis of the budget here.
The Senate Budget Committee-passed budget resolution allows the Senate to move forward with tax-cut legislation that could add $1.5 trillion to deficits over the next decade. Rather than requiring the $1.5 trillion cost to be offset through revenue-raising measures such as closing unproductive, inefficient, or low-priority tax breaks, the budget resolution would allow the tax cut’s cost to add to future deficits, thereby exacerbating the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges.
The tax-cut proposal would do little for working families with modest incomes or middle-income families. In contrast, the top 1 percent of households would receive 80 percent of the tax cuts by 2027 and the top one-tenth of 1 percent of households would get 40 percent of the tax cuts, or over $1 million apiece that year, on average.
The 2018 budget resolution will facilitate $1.5 trillion of deficit-increasing tax cuts, likely benefiting those who are most well-off. The resolution also calls for large cuts in health care, assistance programs that help Americans of modest means make ends meet, and funding for a broad swath of public services and investments — including education, scientific research, infrastructure, and more — that support the nation’s economy. Millions of Americans will likely end up worse off under this combination of policies, including most low- and middle-income children.
The spending cuts and tax increases needed to offset the cost of the Trump/GOP leaders’ tax cuts would cause most Americans’ incomes to fall more than they would gain from the tax cuts themselves.
The Senate budget resolution sets up a likely two-step tax and budget agenda: enacting costly tax cuts now that are heavily skewed toward wealthy households and profitable corporations, then paying for them later through program cuts mostly affecting low- and middle-income families. People with disabilities, children, working families, and the elderly; and programs like health care, food assistance, and education would be among those hit hardest by these cuts.
In May, President Trump issued a detailed budget proposal for 2018 and the next decade; in July, the House Budget Committee issued its own plan and the House approved that plan on October 5; on the same day, the Senate Budget Committee voted to report its own version. Though differing in detail, the three plans are broadly similar, containing deep cuts in non-defense appropriations and other entitlement programs, very deep cuts in health care, and expensive tax cuts tilted heavily towards the rich. Each also relies on rosy economic assumptions.