GOP plan to extend Trump's tax cuts for the rich would add $4.6 trillion to the deficit - TAI News
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Former President Donald Trump attends his trial at the Manhattan Criminal court, Monday, May 6, 2024, in New York. (Win McNamee/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies are proposing to make expiring parts of their 2017 tax law, which slashed rates for the richest Americans, permanent. A new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that extending the individual, business, and estate tax provisions would add $4.6 trillion to the national debt over the first 10 years.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by a Republican-led Congress and signed by Trump, drastically cut taxes for the highest earners and large corporations while providing minimal benefit or even tax hikes for everybody else. Many of the business tax cuts were permanent, but the rest of the law is set to expire in 2025. 

Republicans have vowed to make sure that doesn’t happen. Trump promised in December 2023, “I will never let the Trump Tax Cuts be taken away from you—and with your vote in this election, we will cut your taxes even further,” according to an NH Journal report. In 2018, Trump claimed he was about to propose a large middle-class tax cut, but never did so.

One hundred and two Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have proposed the TCJA Permanency Act, which would extend the law’s individual provisions permanently. 

Among the co-sponsors of that bill are Pennsylvania Republican Reps. Mike Kelly, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, and Glenn Thompson. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Lloyd Smucker, Kelly, Perry, and Thompson, voted for a similar proposal in 2018, which passed in the House but not in the Senate. 

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Bob Casey this November, reportedly said in 2023: “We need to make permanent the Tax [Cuts] and Jobs Act. We need to get rid of this onerous red tape and regulation which has gotten a lot worse under the Biden administration.”

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in May 2023 that making the 2017 law permanent would add $3.5 trillion to the national debt through 2033. On May 8, 2024, it released a new estimate, based on a longer time horizon. 

The national debt is currently about $34.7 trillion. Extending Trump’s tax law would likely increase that total by more than 10%. 

President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies have proposed allowing the 2017 law to expire for the richest Americans and to extend the tax cuts for those earning less than $400,000 a year.

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