Tax Analysts Blog

Outrageous Giveaway in Senate Jobs Bill

Posted on Feb 12, 2010
"Contrary to Congressional intent." "An unintended loophole." That's what Senators Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, called the use of the alternative fuels tax credit for black liquor--a by-product of the paper pulping process. And that was June 11. Now 244 days have passed and there will be no action until the "date of enactment" of the jobs bill (according to section 851(b) of that bill). The cost: about $20 million per day.

The esteemed Senators should have shut this boondoggle down as soon as they got wind of it by announcing they would close the loophole retroactively--a common practice when legislators find loopholes that they condemn. At least in the current bill they could have closed it down at the end of this calendar year (as everybody last year thought the "date of enactment" would occur sometime in 2009). Thanks for nothing, Senators. You want to be known as tax reformers. But if you can't shut down this stinker, your credibility as reformers is zilch.

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