Sen. Tom Coburn said he has grown tired of budgetary gimmicks that allow legislation to be paid for with increased taxes or fees almost a decade in the future.
In effect, the government assumes that companies will prepay their taxes due 10 years from now and then have them refunded several months later, once the 10 years covered by federal budget rules expire. Coburn said he refrained from offering offset amendments during a committee markup because he knew Baucus would throw them out as nongermane. He also disputed Baucus’ contention that the bill is actually paid for, even though it complies with budget rules.
“I would put forward to the American public that if you went to Wendy’s this afternoon and said, ‘Give me a double cheeseburger, and, oh, by the way, over the next 10 years, I’m going to pay for it,’ most Americans would not say it’s paid for,” Coburn said.
“We’ll never solve our other problems until we get out of the mindset of saying, because of the rules, we can stretch out the payment and call it paid for. This bill isn’t paid for,” Coburn said. “It’s going to be paid for by the people who import things 10 years from now — not now.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.