The President Has This One Exactly Right: Cutting Corporate Taxes Should Not Be a Priority, but Extending Unemployment Insurance Should Be

Today (or possibly tomorrow) the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 4438, which would permanently extend and expand the research and development tax credit. But unlike every other piece of legislation sponsored by the House GOP, this bill does not offset the $156 billion 10-year price tag. Apparently, tax cuts for corporations are such a high priority that passing them does not require the sacrifice elsewhere in spending or taxes that the House GOP demands for every other fiscal change. This flies in the face of everything the House GOP has done in this Congress. Last month, for example, House Republicans themselves passed a budget resolution that required offsetting with other revenue measures any tax extenders that were made permanent.

H.R. 4438 will cost 15 times more than the proposed extension of emergency unemployment benefits, which House Republicans insist be offset. And it is more than double the discretionary funding increases in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, all of which were offset. President Obama has rightfully issued a statement that he would veto this bill if it passes.

House Republicans are making their priorities clear by rushing to make business tax cuts permanent without offsets and calling for raising taxes on millions of working families and students by letting important improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and education tax credits expire. Not to mention failing to reverse the cut-off of extended unemployment benefits at a time when long-term unemployment remains higher than it has ever been in the past when extended benefits were ended. If the House GOP were truly concerned about long-term fiscal challenges, then they would offset tax breaks by permanently closing other tax loopholes.