Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has put together a plan to cut $9 trillion from the deficit over the next decade and, unlike other GOP plans, his includes doing away with more than $1 trillion in special tax benefits. Coburn describes the tax expenditure as “little more than corporate welfare, designed to compensate for our country’s high tax rate,” The Washington Post reported
Missing from Coburn’s list are tax breaks for oil companies, corporate jets, or hedge-fund managers that President Barack Obama has put in the spotlight. Instead, he focuses on such things as the New Markets Tax Credit, designed to encourage investing in businesses that provide capital to low-income residents living in poor communities. The credits ended up going to multimillion-dollar companies such as a Wachovia Bank subsidiary that between 2004 and 2009 got $521 million in tax credits, Coburn says.
Another $204 million in tax credits went to two divisions of Chase Bank, and $15.5 million went to Prudential Financial to help pay for a $116 million renovation of the Marriott Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. Another $8 million went to a hockey arena, while $4.9 million was used for an 86-room Fairfield Inn & Suites, the Post reported.
Coburn also has targeted a tax-free Tribal Economic Development Bond Program contained in the 2009 stimulus legislation. An Arizona tribe used bonds to build an 11,000-seat spring training facility for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks, Coburn said.
He also is looking at breaks that go to the wealthy such as “individuals with over a million dollars in income [who] benefited from more than $7 billion in tax relief through mortgage interest deductions in one year alone,” according to the Post.
Tax revenues are not part of the debt ceiling agreement, but bipartisan bills to eliminate tax breaks have been introduced in Congress, the Post reported.
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