(Bloomberg) A bipartisan U.S. Senate bill that would revive and extend dozens of lapsed tax breaks would spur economic growth and cover about 11 percent of its own costs, according to Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper.
The analysis released Tuesday is an early test of Republicans’ focus on what’s known as dynamic scoring. It refers to the principle that legislation can be significant enough to change the size of the economy and affect the U.S. budget.
Republicans say that’s a more accurate way to study bills, and they’ve changed budget rules to include the analyses. Democrats are dubious, citing the uncertainty of projections.
The bill in question was approved 23-3 by the Senate Finance Committee last month. It would extend lapsed tax breaks through 2016, including 50 percent bonus depreciation, the research and development break and the production tax credit for wind energy.
Without dynamic scoring, the bill would cost the government $96.9 billion in lost revenue over the next 10 years. The tax breaks cause production and tax revenue to grow by 0.1 percent over the first five years, according to the analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The analysis says the bill would create $10.4 billion in tax revenue by increasing economic growth, after subtracting the increased cost of federal debt stemming from higher interest rates. The result would be a net cost of $86.6 billion.
The estimate, unlike previous attempts to use dynamic scoring, produces a single number, though one that the scorekeepers say is “subject to some uncertainty.” It’s not likely to settle the partisan dispute over dynamic scoring.
“We have in hand a good start for our new scoring rule approved as part of the balanced budget resolution earlier this year,” Republican Mike Enzi of Wyoming, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said in a statement. “This is something from which we can build upon as we go forward in this new era of better legislative scoring and honest accounting.”
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