JCT Report: No, The GOP Tax Bill Does Not Pay For Itself

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Just a few hours before holding a vote on a bill to fundamentally overhaul the American tax code and kill Obamacare’s individual mandate, senators received a bombshell report from the Joint Committee on Taxation finding that the bill would cost the federal government about $1 trillion dollars over a decade, even when taking into account increased revenues from economic growth.

The report directly contradicts claims by the Trump administration and Republican leaders that the tax cuts would completely pay for themselves, and will fuel tensions in the final hours of the bill’s debate between the GOP’s deficit hawks demanding a revenue-raising “trigger” and those who insist one is not necessary.

The trigger currently under discussion would only claw back about $350 billion over 10 years, far short of the $1 trillion hole the tax bill would leave in the federal budget.

Minutes after the report was released, Democrats pointed to the bipartisan committee’s findings as evidence that the GOP is trying to pass its tax cuts using, in the words of Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), “an array of unicorn magic growth fairy analyses.”

“These folks are the independent referees when it comes to taxes. They’re the ones vested with this responsibility, hired by Congress and paid by taxpayers,” Wyden said of the Joint Committee on Taxation. “And their report ends the fantasy of magical growth and claims that tax cuts pay for themselves.”

Read the full report here:


Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.