Advancing a Free Society

The Hypocrisy Act of 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

The House will soon vote on a new version of the  “tax extenders+ bill,” which is formally labeled H.R. 4213, The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010.

Must … not … call it … Stimulus IV.

A better name might be The Hypocrisy Act of 2010.  This bill is getting far less press coverage than it deserves.

Precis of the bill (bill text, summary)

The bill:

  • increases infrastructure spending by $26 B over ten years;
  • extends a raft of expiring tax provisions, mostly for one year
  • provides funding relief for certain employer pension plans;
  • raises a bunch of taxes, mostly on businesses and a certain kind of partnership income called “carried interest;”
  • extends unemployment insurance benefits, increasing federal spending by $47 B over the next two years;
  • increases Medicare payments for doctors through the end of 2013 for eighteen months at a $63 B cost;
  • increases health insurance subsidies for the unemployed (through “COBRA”) by $8 B over the next two years; and
  • increases federal Medicaid spending by $24 B for a six-month policy change.

CBO gives us the net budgetary effects of the bill over the 11-year period 2010-2020:

  • $40 B net tax increase;
  • $174 B spending increase;
  • $134 B deficit increase.

I count at least four reasons this bill deserves the title The Hypocrisy Act of 2010.

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