Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Media Coverage

Sep 20, 2017|Fox Business Network

Trump’s tax reform plan won’t pay for itself, Maya MacGuineas says

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya MacGuineas on President Trump’s tax reform plan.

Sep 19, 2017|The New York Times

Senate Republicans Embrace Plan for $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut

“The president and members of Congress have spent years warning of our large and growing national debt and have said their goal was to pursue tax reform that doesn’t make that debt worse,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “It is extremely disheartening that the Senate budget may be abandoning that commitment.”

The tax cuts, she added, “could result in debt as large as the economy in just over a decade and take us into uncharted waters after that.”

Sep 12, 2017|Washington Examiner

How to fix the debt: High-skilled immigrants, drastic education overhaul, and painful spending cuts

On Tuesday, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CFRB) drew together conservative, liberal, and independent economists and politicians for a conference seeking ideas to increase economic growth and reduce the national debt.

Sep 25, 2017|Washington Examiner

Republicans could target 401(k)s in tax reform gimmick

"If the gimmick results in a higher level of debt, then it's harmful," said Marc Goldwein, senior policy director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a group that advocates for lower deficits.

The issue is that Rothification of 401(k)s would not actually raise revenue, the way that eliminating a tax credit or loophole used by business would. Instead, it would merely shift the timing of when the government received the revenue. As a result, if the tax reform plan, including the gimmick, looked on paper as though it did not add to deficits, could be a big net tax cut. In general, most members of Congress are willing to play such games. But others have resisted similar moves in writing budgets or other legislation.

And in the out years, the Treasury would see lower tax revenue, as people began withdrawing funds from retirement accounts tax-free. "What you've basically done is charge the cost of rate reductions to a future generation," Goldwein said.

Sep 25, 2017|Tribune News Service

Detailed tax plan eludes Republicans

But officials said Thursday that figure remains in flux. And their accord is no guarantee of broader support for the final tax bill.

“This is really the heart and soul of who the Republican Party is,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog group.

“Republicans have been fighting to have control of the House, the Senate and the White House to make some improvements to the fiscal situation, and they are on track to do absolutely the opposite,” she said.

Sep 22, 2017|The Washington Post

The United States just hit $20 trillion in debt. Republicans have a plan to make it worse

Senate Republicans have tentatively agreed to a budget deal that would allow them to pass a $1.5 trillion tax cut. The catch is they aren't proposing spending cuts or tax increases elsewhere to pay for it. That means the nation's debt could increase by $1.5 trillion or more over the next decade.

“It's an astronomical amount, given how bad our current debt is,” said Maya MacGuineas, head of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan watchdog group that's trying to reduce the debt.

Sep 22, 2017|Mother Jones

The 5 Biggest Myths In Republicans’ Quest To Lower Corporate Taxes

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said the cuts could result in the national debt exploding, with the country owing as much debt as the entire output of the US economy in just over a decade. Maya MacGuineas, the group’s president, said in a statement that the “debt-dependent approach to tax reform flies in the face of the fiscal discipline so many members of the Budget Committee have voiced concern about in the past.”

Sep 21, 2017|The Los Angeles Times

The Republican tax plan is still more talk than action

“This is really the heart and soul of who the Republican Party is,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog group.

“Republicans have been fighting to have control of the House, the Senate and the White House to make some improvements to the fiscal situation, and they are on track to do absolutely the opposite,” she said.

Sep 21, 2017|Fox News

Sanders' single-payer bill causing headaches for Dems in 2018 midterms

On Sept. 12, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan fiscal watchdog group, determined the plan would cost $25 trillion over the next decade, basing its estimate on the Sanders campaign proposal. The additional taxes Sanders has talked about would raise $11 trillion in revenue, leaving the remaining $14 trillion added to the national debt, the organization estimates.

Sep 21, 2017|Morning Consult

PAYGO Presents Potential Hurdle to GOP Tax Reform

Ed Lorenzen, a senior adviser at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget who was a budget adviser to then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) from 2007 to 2010, said in an interview Wednesday that OMB’s PAYGO scorecard would be likely to show major revenue losses at the end of this year if GOP tax writers institute the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that have been cited by publications such as The New York Times in stories about Republican tax plans.

Because the statutory rules are enshrined in law, both houses of Congress must pass legislation instructing the OMB not to include revenue losses like a tax cut in the scorecard if lawmakers want to avoid the automatic cuts. That’s where Republican lawmakers could run into a problem.

Lorenzen said Congress can’t impose the waiver through a reconciliation tax reform bill itself, which means Republicans would need 60 votes in the Senate to prevent the automatic spending cuts — and Democrats would have to decide whether to vote in favor of a waiver.

Sep 20, 2017|Washington Examiner

Republicans far apart on tax strategy week before release of outline

"Senators should ask themselves whether they are going to take the easy road and pursue unpaid-for tax cuts that worsen our dangerous national debt, or use this once in a generation opportunity to pass fiscally responsible, pro-growth tax reform," said Maya MacGuineas, head of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 20, 2017|Bloomberg

Senators' Deal Makes Tax Cuts More Likely, May Limit Their Scope

Corker said he wants a credible score of the final tax bill to show the tax cuts would pay for themselves and not a “crazy” estimate, although he said he supports “dynamic” scoring, which uses economic models that assume economic growth would result from the tax cuts and mitigate the deficit impact.

He also said that the score would not have to come from Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, which would be a major departure from Senate tradition. Such an approach “flies in the face of fiscal discipline,” said Ed Lorenzen, a senior adviser for the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 20, 2017|The Washington Post

Can the GOP break its addiction to tax cuts for the rich?

On Tuesday, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget put out a statement, more like a plea, to avoid revenue-losing tax plans:

With our debt at record levels and set to rise for the foreseeable future, adding another $1.5 trillion tax cut to the debt would be remarkably irresponsible. $1.5 trillion in tax cuts could result in debt as large as the economy in just over a decade and take us into uncharted waters after that. This debt-dependent approach to tax reform flies in the face of the fiscal discipline so many members of the Budget Committee have voiced concern about in the past and violates pay-as-you-go principles and law. . . .

Moreover, the arguments being made to allow for $1.5 trillion of tax cuts – dynamic scoring and current policy adjustments – are disingenuous and at best can help explain a small fraction of this massive tax cut.

Sep 19, 2017|Politico

How big of a tax cut?

Ed Lorenzen of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget told Morning Tax that the budget would need reconciliation instructions to the Finance Committee specifying how much the deficit could increase, a provision exempting tax reform from Senate pay-as-you-go rules and language to change the revenue level to accommodate a tax cut. But that’s just the actual mechanical steps needed to write a budget. The political debate about potentially enacting big tax cuts right after the federal debt hit the $20 trillion mark is another question.

Sep 19, 2017|The Hill

Corker unveils tax reform details

Maya MacGuineas, president of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, had similar criticisms.

 “This debt-dependent approach to tax reform flies in the face of the fiscal discipline so many members of the Budget Committee have voiced concern about in the past and violates pay-as-you-go principles and law," MacGuineas said. 

Sep 19, 2017|Bloomberg

Tentative U.S. Budget-Tax Deal Gets Nod From Two Republicans

The arguments being made to allow for $1.5 trillion of tax cuts -- dynamic scoring and current policy adjustments -- are “disingenuous” and can “at best” only account for a small fraction of the cut, according to Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“The President and members of Congress have spent years warning of our large and growing national debt and have said their goal was to pursue tax reform that doesn’t make that debt worse,” MacGuineas said in a statement. “With our debt at record levels and set to rise for the foreseeable future, adding another $1.5 trillion tax cut to the debt would be remarkably irresponsible.”

Sep 19, 2017|The Fiscal Times

What the Senate GOP's $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut Deal Means

The GOP shift was met with intense criticism from fiscal hawks. “This debt-dependent approach to tax reform flies in the face of the fiscal discipline so many members of the Budget Committee have voiced concern about in the past and violates pay-as-you-go principles and law,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said in a statement Tuesday. “Moreover, the arguments being made to allow for $1.5 trillion of tax cuts – dynamic scoring and current policy adjustments – are disingenuous and at best can help explain a small fraction of this massive tax cut.”

Sep 18, 2017|The Fiscal Times

Republicans Change Their Tune on Tax Cuts and the Debt

The Economic Consequences Could Be Dangerous: “Deficit financed cuts undermine the growth from reform because the higher growth from cuts can easily be outweighed by the negative economic effects of the additional debt. We are particularly vulnerable to the negative economic consequences of too much debt given our current fiscal situation. When President Bush entered office and pursued tax cuts, the budget surplus was 2.7% of GDP. Today we have a deficit of 2.9%. And with Bush the debt was 33% of GDP; today it is 77%. So further blowing a hole in the fiscal situation could do a great deal more damage to the economy.” – Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Forbes

Sep 15, 2017|MarketWatch

The U.S. is now over $20 trillion in debt — here’s how it got there

With the U.S. still reeling from the Great Recession, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009. In addition to tax cuts, Obama’s stimulus bill spent billions of dollars on unemployment benefits and infrastructure projects. Obama said the plan would be “a major milestone on our road to recovery,” but Republicans trashed the measure as a waste of government money. Originally scored at $787 billion, the Congressional Budget Office in 2015 put its price tag higher, at $836 billion. Including interest payments, it added $1 trillion to the debt through fiscal 2016, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 14, 2017|Fox News

Single-payer health care: What is it?

Sanders estimates the price tag for his plan would be about $1.38 trillion per year for the first 10 years, based on an analysis conducted by an economist at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

But other experts have projected higher costs -- anywhere from $2.5 trillion a year, according to the nonpartisan Urban Institute, to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s estimate of $2.8 trillion a year.

Sep 14, 2017|The Hill

Debt-ceiling gambit stirs GOP debate

Democrats imposed such a system during the late 1970s and ’80s. It was then known as the “Gephardt Rule,” after Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), who came up with the idea of having the debt ceiling automatically raised when a budget was passed. Republicans did away with the rule in 1995.

“Thus, Congress would have to vote in favor of lifting the debt ceiling when supporting the policy that necessitates it, which might give legislators more pause before adding to the debt,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed.

Sep 14, 2017|Bloomberg

Congress Wants This $2 Trillion Tax Break. U.S. Companies Don’t

Retaining bonus depreciation would be far less costly than full expensing in terms of revenue -- just $251 billion over a decade, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Critics of expensing still say they would rather see those savings go toward slashing the corporate rate.

Sep 14, 2017|Bloomberg Businessweek

This Is the Crazy Tax Math Trump Must Master, Fast

That gambit still wouldn’t get Congress around a second pay-go provision that’s a law, not just a rule. And the law, from 2010, has teeth. It holds back funds for mandatory spending programs, such as Medicare, student loans, and farm aid, if the net effect of legislation enacted by Congress during a calendar year increases the deficit. But Congress could neutralize that one, too, by passing legislation before the end of 2017 that stops the sequester. Republicans could attach such a measure to must-pass legislation or simply dare Democrats to vote no, says Ed Lorenzen, senior adviser to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Not that he likes the idea. “It is very troubling” that Congress might change its own spending rules, he says. “It would be very irresponsible and contrary to any expressions of concern about the debt.”

Sep 14, 2017|Money

Here's How Much Bernie Sanders Says He'll Save You on Health Insurance

There are risks, however. Sanders’ proposal would largely remove private insurers from the American health care system, a huge change from the present. The ultimate effect from this shift on health care prices, employers and individuals remains to be seen, says Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Sep 13, 2017|USA Today

What would Sen. Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare-for-All' bill mean for you?

Republicans point to an Urban Institute study indicating that proposal would increase federal expenditures by $32 trillion over 10 years. Another study by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says the campaign proposal would cost $25 trillion and add $16 trillion to the debt (including interest) without additional offsets, putting the national at 148% of GDP in 2027.

Sep 13, 2017|CBS News

What would it mean to erase the debt ceiling?

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, argues that instead of eliminating it, lawmakers can reform the process.

"Eliminating the risk that it's posed to the economy when people have threatened to not lift it is certainly desirable," she told CBS News. "But -- and it's a pretty big but -- getting rid of the one stop on additional borrowing without replacing it with something more sensible seems like as much of an end-run around fiscal responsibility as it doesn't attempt to really fix a problem."

Sep 13, 2017|PBS

Standard Medigap plans are learning some new tricks

From a financial perspective, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget serves a similar “alarm” function about the need to rein in federal deficits. From this perspective, you will see a lot of content about how Social Security deficits need to be reduced, often by reducing benefits.

Sep 12, 2017|The Hill

The debt ceiling is the best bad option we've got right now

There are much better ways of doing things. The Center for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Maya MacGuineas suggests several, including tying debt limit hikes to the budget resolutions that would necessitate them, or reframing the limit in relation to GDP, a much more meaningful number.

Sep 12, 2017|CNN Money

Will retroactive tax cuts help the economy?

"Retroactive tax-cuts are one of the absolute worst tax reforms one can pass," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "They do nothing to change incentives and can have very negative effects if deficit financed. Policymakers should focus on how to offset the cost of the tax cuts they want to enact, not providing tax cuts to incentivize people to do things they have already done."

Sep 12, 2017|Washington Times

Liberals with eye on presidency rush to support Sanders’s ‘Medicare for all’ bill

Implementing a single-payer system nationwide could cost $25 trillion over a decade, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated Tuesday. The independent bipartisan public policy organization was looking at a version Mr. Sanders laid out during the presidential campaign last year. The CRFB said $16 trillion of that cost would be new spending, not offset by higher taxes or cuts elsewhere.

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