The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just now released its score of the bill the Senate passed early this morning while everyone was celebrating the beginning of the New Year. Despite knowing for a long time that taxes would go up on all Americans today, the Senate waited until we technically went over the cliff to act. Washington’s dysfunction was even fodder for New Year’s revelers in Times Square.
Going over the cliff allows Congress to technically say that it isn’t raising taxes, but is cutting them instead. CBO’s score backs them up on this by scoring the Senate bill as a $3.6 trillion tax cut. No one should fall this. The Senate bill is a tax hike because it allows taxes to go up from 2012 to 2013. The tax increases in the bill will reportedly raise about $600 billion over the next 10 years.
Also of note in the CBO score is that the Senate bill increases spending by around $330 billion by extending expanded unemployment benefits, a temporary “doc fix” patch to prevent cuts to Medicare, and extension of the agriculture programs.