Today, under the leadership of Representative Scott Murphy (NY-20), members of the Blue Dog Coalition will introduce the Tax Information for New Fiscal Oversight (INFO) Act, a commonsense budget enforcement tool that would require The Joint Committee on Tax (JCT) to provide Congress and the public with a straightforward analysis of each provision in the tax code. The Tax INFO Act, the latest component of the Blue Dog Blueprint for Fiscal Reform, would take real steps to make the federal government more accountable to American taxpayers.
"After spending my career running small businesses, I know the importance of examining every dollar spent. That's how government should operate too," said. Rep. Murphy. "Government needs to be responsible and transparent with taxpayer dollars. This bill will help to shed light on wasteful loopholes and special deals hidden in the tax code."
"We simply cannot continue to allow government spending, regardless of how it occurs, to go unchecked. The American people deserve to have a clear idea of where their money is going," said Representative Jim Matheson, Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications.
Tax expenditures--credits, deductions, exemptions, and exclusions--accounted for over $1 trillion in government spending last year--many of which exist in the form of outdated tax loopholes. Yet, Congress lacks a consistent process to analyze and measure tax expenditures to determine whether they are achieving their objectives.
To address this problem, the Tax INFO Act would:
* Require the JCT to provide an annual analysis of each provision in the tax code for its equity, efficiency, and ease of administration. Just like any small business, the federal government should know how money is being spent, and whether or not it is achieving its intended objective.
* Require that JCT report on the aggregate revenue lost through the tax code so that the policy makers and the American people can better understand how tax expenditures affect the bottom line.
* Increase government responsibility and accountability by providing necessary oversight of the estimated $1.2 trillion in spending on tax credits, deductions, exemptions and exclusions each year.
The fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1995 with the goal of representing the center of the House of Representatives and appealing to the mainstream values of the American public. The Blue Dogs are dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend partisan politics, including a deep commitment to the financial stability and national security of the United States. Currently there are 54 members of the Blue Dog Coalition. For more information, visit the Blue Dog website.