Right Now

It’s Christmas time for special interests in Washington and Congress is playing Santa.  The tax extenders package the Senate will pass this week is a congressional Christmas tree full of goodies for everyone from Wall Street to Sunset Boulevard. Tuna companies, race horse owners, luxury hotel developers, and Hollywood movie makers are just a few of the groups on Congress’ nice list this year.

This week the Senate will extend more than 50 special tax expenditures that expired at the end of 2013, adding more than $41 billion to the debt over the next ten years. H.R. 5771, Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, is another reminder that Congress continues to fail in its promise to overhaul the tax code, which is full of handout for the well-off and well connected. 

“This bill represents the worst habits in Washington. Politicians in a lame duck, end-of-the-year session, passing out goodies to well-connected industries instead of lowering tax rates for all Americans.” said Senator Coburn. “For each of these that benefit only one company or industry, other taxpayers must pay more. It’s unfair system that benefits only a few at the expense of everyone else.”

“Congress must stop the perpetual temporary extensions of wasteful tax breaks, and make the tax code flatter and fairer for all taxpayers.” 

Last week, Dr. Coburn released a 320-page expose, Tax Decoder, which decodes the tax code. The report describes more than 165 tax expenditures worth over $900 billion this year and more than $5 trillion over the next five years. Many of the extenders in the package today are detailed in the report. See the attached spreadsheet for more details on each provision.

Dr. Coburn filed 12 amendments to the extenders legislation, including amendments to strike the extension of the New Markets Tax Credit, which gives Wall Street banks nearly $1 billion annually in tax credits. Other amendments would strike a special tax credit for railroad track maintenance, eliminate the NASCAR tax break for owners of motorsport race tracks, and eliminate tuna tax break, among others. 

Dr. Coburn's amendments to tax extenders are here