Congress hands out billions in corporate tax breaks while denying funding for programs benefitting American families unless they are paid for
WASHINGTON – Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, issued the following statement today following the passage in the U.S. Senate of a one-year extension of a large package of tax breaks, 80 percent of which benefits corporate interests, which expired at the end of 2013. If the bill, which has already passed the House of Representatives, becomes law it will add $42 billion to the deficit over 10 years, creating pressure to further cut government services. Less than a year ago, some members of Congress had blocked legislation to extend unemployment insurance because of their professed concern for the budget deficit, and one year ago the Murray-Ryan Bipartisan Budget Act that made adjustments to the budget sequester also required that any new spending be paid for.
“Congress has two sets of rules – one for corporate tax breaks and one for everything else. Conservatives have blocked making new investments that help American families because they say reducing the deficit is the nation’s top priority. But when it comes to corporate tax breaks they’re willing to add $42 billion to the deficit. It’s a double-standard and it smells of hypocrisy.
“If Congress wants to give tax breaks to corporations, it should pay for them by closing other corporate tax loopholes that allow many companies to pay lower tax rates than middle-class families.
“It’s unconscionable that Congress is giving $6.2 billion in tax breaks for companies that ship profits offshore, through the Active Financing Exception and CFC Look-Through Rule loopholes. These rules benefit multinationals like General Electric, which paid no federal income taxes over five years. Wall Street banks don’t need another tax break. It’s time for Congress to get its priorities straight.”
Americans for Tax Fairness is a diverse coalition of 425 national and state organizations that collectively represent tens of millions of members. The organization was formed on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. ATF is playing a central role in Washington and in the states on federal tax-reform issues.