Today’s tax debates are taking place in a substantially different fiscal environment than when past tax cuts were debated. Compared to 1981, when the Reagan tax cuts were passed, and 2001, when the Bush tax cuts were enacted, revenues today are lower and the debt held by the public is considerably higher, measured as a percent of the economy. …And the budget outlook is vastly different, particularly compared to when the 2001 Bush tax cuts were being considered. In 2001, the federal government was running a surplus, the federal debt was shrinking, and large surpluses were forecast for the coming decade. Today’s fiscal outlook is the opposite: deficits are growing and the debt is projected to rise from today’s 77 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 91 percent in 2027, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), due to rising health care and other costs associated with the retirement of baby boomers, as well as the significant ongoing costs of the Bush tax cuts.
November 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST