USA Today Takes on House GOP’s Fiscal Hypocrisy

Wanted to make sure you saw this USA Today editorial on House Republicans’ fiscally irresponsible bill to extend the R&D tax credit on the Floor today. Here are some highlights:

Fiscal hard-liners in Congress have insisted on offsetting the cost of virtually every proposal that would increase the deficit — a temporary extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed, for example, or an increase in Medicare payments to doctors.”

But that discipline only goes so far. House Republicans have declared that when it comes to offsets, tax cuts don't count — budget be damned. Last week, the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee voted largely along party lines to make six temporary tax cuts permanent, at a cost of $310 billion in lost revenue over the next 10 years. Total offsets: $0 over the next 10 years.”

For all their talk about the evils of deficits and the debt, Republicans have zero interest in paying for the cost of the R&D tax break. ‘This bill has been extended, unpaid for, probably 30 times,’ said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. The old ‘we've always done it this way’ excuse. Anyone still wondering why the national debt is as big as it is?”

“During the 1990s, a tough ‘pay as you go’ rule required Congress to pay for any new tax cuts and for any new or expanded entitlement benefits. The requirement was one of the reasons the nation had balanced budgets from 1998 through 2001. Unsurprisingly, though, Congress let the rule lapse. It was reinstated in a modified form in 2010, but like any law, Congress can get around it simply by inserting a provision that says the rule won't apply.”

Making a useful tax cut permanent makes sense, but doing it without offsetting the cost — and pretending the cost doesn't even matter — does not. Any House member who votes for this stinker will forfeit any credibility on deficits or the national debt. Because it's vote after vote just like this one that have made the problem the lawmakers claim to care about impossible to fix.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.