Peterson Foundation Statement on House Tax Bill

Nov 2, 2017

NEW YORK — Michael A. Peterson, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented today on the release of tax legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“Passing a bill to our kids is not the right way to pass a bill. This legislation is an example of fiscal irresponsibility. It is based on a presumption that it’s somehow acceptable to add $1.5 trillion to our national debt over the next ten years when we will already be adding $10 trillion as it is. We need to improve our dangerous fiscal outlook, not make it worse. No tax legislation that increases our national debt should be called pro-growth, because adding more debt hurts our economy.

“In addition, this bill includes gimmicks like arbitrary phase-ins and expirations that damage its fiscal credibility and undermine important objectives. Pro-growth reforms must be permanent to be effective. Business and individuals need certainty to plan and invest. The goal of tax reform should be to help the economy grow well into the future, not just temporarily with rules that drift in and out of the tax code.

“Lawmakers should use the valuable opportunity presented by tax reform both to improve our fiscal outlook and strengthen the economy at the same time. As this bill moves through the legislative process, lawmakers should look for ways to pay for their priorities. With $15 trillion of tax breaks and $46 trillion in spending over the next decade, there are many ways to find $1.5 trillion to offset the cost of this bill.”

Expert Views: Fiscal Commission

We asked experts with diverse views from across the political spectrum to share their perspectives.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.