Concept_DC_Capitol Building

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New Budget Cap Plan Would Cost As Much As the Tax Cuts

Apr 5, 2019 | Other Spending

Earlier this week, the House Budget Committee reported a bill – the Investing for the People Act of 2019 – that would increase current law caps on discretionary spending by a combined $358 billion over the next two years.

As we explained, these cap increases would expand projected deficits over the coming decade by roughly $2.1 trillion, including interest. That is as much as or more than the cost of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will add nearly $1.9 trillion to the national debt over the coming decade. While these estimates aren't purely apples-to-apples – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act number is a revised dynamic estimate over the 11 years from 2018 to 2028, while the Investing for the People Act number is a preliminary static estimate over the 10 years from 2020 to 2029 – the costs are comparable however you cut the numbers.

As we showed in February, defense and non-defense discretionary spending has grown dramatically over the past two years. Policymakers should not extend and expand these increases without identifying the necessary tax or spending offsets.

For more information and analysis on the Investing for the People Act of 2019, read our analysis of the bill and our press release on the bill. You can also find several CRFB resources on the 2017 tax cuts here.