A major shift is underway in the economy and Congress with the advent of stubborn inflation. The Federal Reserve’s stringent tightening of money supply last week, coupled with a plan to continue tightening through 2023 and 2024 to bring down inflation, is causing the tax-writing committees to re-think not only appropriations for Fiscal Year 2023, but also Democrats’ replacement for the Build Back Better Act being negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin.
House Appropriations Committee is well underway approving the dozen appropriations bills for FY 2023, but Senate appropriators are far behind and a continuing resolution can be expected.
We are also a long way from Finance and Ways and Means agreeing to a tax title covering WOTC, ERTC, and the major programs we are seeking for disabled persons, military spouses, disadvantaged youth, and other productive changes to WOTC. Both tax-writing committees kicked off discussion of budget and inflation issues with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week.
But we are already beginning to see the outlines of new proposals in the Senate designed to shape fiscal policy to bring down inflation costs to the American people, and we believe this will be a major thrust of new legislation attached to the must-do bill to fund the government for FY 2023.
The Federal Reserve has thrown its strongest monetary resources against inflation, leaving it clear for Congress to move now to harness fiscal policy to the same end. By “fiscal policy” we mean the tax and expenditure programs of the Federal government.
Last week, some members of the tax-writing committees began discussions of ideas pertaining to anti-inflation fiscal policy. Several senators have made good ideas public, but are too incomplete at this point.
Anti-inflation fiscal policy, increased WOTC credits, and retroactive ERTC credits for this year, go together. Not that members of Congress would follow this concept, we must help them. For example, some senators who would support increased tax credits during inflation believe they must pay for the those credits because of the deficit. This is unnecessary because, in a business cycle with inflation rising, reducing taxes or increasing tax credits while the Fed is tightening can help prevent a recession. Pay-fors would have the effect of slowing business and consumer spending while the Fed is tightening, possibly bringing on a recession.
If we do our job, it’s likely we’ll see anti-inflation fiscal policy emerge not only for FY 2023, but also for FY 2024 and FY 2025, the years the Fed believes it will need to bring inflation under control. This works well because our campaign to make WOTC permanent begins in 2024 or earlier. Currently, WOTC expires on December 31st, 2025.
But we aren’t waiting till 2024 or 2025. We believe it would help workers and businesspeople if Congress took steps NOW to prevent a recession in 2024 or 2025 by passing a bill this year granting enhanced WOTC benefits for 2023, 2024, and 2025.
As we look ahead to 2025, many of our members may be interested in when various tax credits expire. CLICK HERE to view a summary of the various credits and when they expire.