President’s Budget Proposal Continues to Delay Taking a Closer Look at Tax Breaks

In recent hearings before the House Budget Committee, both Peter Orszag (OMB Director) and Jeffrey Zients (OMB Chief Performance Officer) have acknowledged the need to scrutinize “tax expenditures” — i.e. special tax breaks aimed at achieving specific policy goals. Mr. Zients even went so far as to express “100% agreement” with the notion of evaluating tax expenditure performance alongside other types of government spending, and to declare the review of tax expenditures to be a priority moving forward.

Unfortunately, despite this apparent interest among high-ranking OMB officials, the President’s February 1 budget proposal shows no signs of ending the delays on this issue that been occurring within the Executive Branch for over a decade. As I noted in my op-ed
in today’s Sacramento Bee: “for the second year in a row, the Obama administration has chosen [in its budget] to simply copy-and-paste the
Bush administration’s language on [tax expenditure performance review], complete with all the
same promises about what will be done at some point over the ‘next few

Read the Sacramento Bee op-ed.

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