Larsen: Families Deserve Functional Tax Code That Doesn’t Harm Economic Future

Dec 17, 2015 Issues: Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today voted against a bill that would create a $622 billion hole in the federal deficit by extending dozens of tax credits without paying for them. While Larsen supports many of the tax credits in the bill, extending some and making others permanent with no plan to pay for them is fiscally irresponsible and undermines any effort to reform the tax code.

“I cannot support this irresponsible bill that blows a $600 billion hole in our country’s budget while dodging a solution to the real problem of a dysfunctional tax code. The gains we get under this bill are wiped out by the $600 billion pain it will cost us and our children later. And the bigger our debt, the more we pay in interest, which takes money away from our schools, our veterans and our infrastructure.

“Many of the tax credits in the bill the House passed today make important investments in education, research, clean energy and other priorities that I support. While I would like to see tax credits like these extended to encourage innovation and a strong economic foundation, that economic foundation gets shaky when we charge too much to our nation’s credit card with no way to pay those charges back. The U.S. tax code also badly needs an overhaul so it works better for hardworking middle-class families, but prolonging the status quo damages the chances of getting comprehensive tax reform done.

“I want to see a tax code that encourages people to go to school, workers to put their time into innovative clean energy projects, and families to invest in their futures. Our country's budget deserves a balanced approach by matching changes in the tax code like these with savings found elsewhere. We can accomplish these goals while also maintaining fiscal responsibility by including these tax credits as part of a broader tax reform effort,” Larsen said

The tax extender package that the House passed costs $622 billion over 10 years by extending more than 50 tax provisions, including making 22 provisions permanent. The bill does not include any offsets to cover these costs.