From Tax Breaks to Child Credits: Decoding the $70 Billion Plan Driving the US Economic Agenda


The United States economy is on the brink of an unexpected fiscal boost with the potential approval of a $70 billion tax deal for businesses and families. As Congressional negotiators engage in talks over renewing expired business tax breaks and enhancing the child tax credit, the stakes are high. This article delves into the details of the proposed tax deal, its potential impact on the economy, and the challenges it poses.

The Tax Deal in Focus

Renewed Business Tax Breaks

The proposed tax deal aims to revive tax breaks for research and development spending, and increase the deductibility of investments, including equipment and business loans. While these measures can stimulate economic activity, concerns loom over the limited impact on encouraging new corporate investments, especially in the face of existing inflation pressures.

Child Tax Credit Boost

A significant component of the deal is the boost to the child tax credit. However, it falls short of the Covid-era version, raising questions about its effectiveness in reducing child poverty. The debate over the credit’s size, refundability, and frequency of payment adds complexity to the negotiations, with Democrats vowing to block the current proposal.

Potential Economic Impact

Boost to Consumer Spending

If the tax deal gets Congressional approval, it promises to inject extra cash into the economy, potentially boosting consumer spending. This could be a welcome stimulus, particularly for President Joe Biden, whose approval ratings have faced challenges amid voter anxiety over the economy.

Inflation Risks

However, economists caution that the surge in consumer spending may reignite inflation pressures. With data from December showing a 3.4% increase in the consumer price index, concerns about inflation remain valid. The Federal Reserve’s ability to lower interest rates could be further complicated, considering the delicate balance between economic stimulus and inflation control.

Key Considerations and Controversies

Bipartisan Challenges

The tax deal faces challenges on the bipartisan front, with lawmakers deeply divided over fiscal priorities. Some Republicans advocate for significant spending cuts, adding a layer of complexity to the negotiations. Differences over the state-and-local tax deduction cap, low-income housing tax credit expansion, and the child tax credit’s robustness further complicate the path to a consensus.

Fiscal Stimulus Legacy

Mickey Levy, a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution, emphasizes that the economy is already benefiting from substantial fiscal stimulus. The proposed tax measures, if approved, would add fuel to an economy growing faster than estimated for its long-run potential. This raises questions about the necessity and prudence of additional fiscal measures.

Outlook and Timing

Potential Timeline

If a deal materializes, money could start flowing to households as early as March. However, the final details of the agreement and the structure of tax breaks will play a crucial role in determining the overall impact. Negotiators aim for Congress to enact the deal before the start of the annual tax-filing season on Jan. 29, adding urgency to the discussions.

Uncertain Economic Landscape

Analysts stress that the impact of the tax package might be relatively small, with the broader economy likely unaffected. Nancy Vanden Houten, a lead economist at Oxford Economics, maintains that the tax package’s size wouldn’t be enough to alter forecasts for inflation and Federal Reserve rate cuts in May.

Political and Rating Agency Perspectives

Political Landscape

The tax negotiations highlight the persistent gap between lawmakers and the looming threat of austerity. Despite warnings from rating agencies like Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings about the US fiscal trajectory, lawmakers appear distant from embracing fiscal discipline.

Rating Agency Concerns

Moody’s Investors Service’s warning of a potential downgrade to the sovereign US rating emphasizes concerns over wider budget deficits and political polarization. As ratings firms express apprehension, the need for a balanced fiscal approach becomes increasingly crucial.


As the US economy stands at the crossroads of a potential fiscal boost, the $70 billion tax deal awaits Congressional approval. The intricacies of the proposal, coupled with the challenges of bipartisan negotiations and economic uncertainties, make this a critical juncture. Whether the deal becomes a shot in the arm for the economy or adds complexities remains to be seen, but its implications will reverberate through various sectors, shaping the economic landscape in the months to come.


FAQs on the $70 Billion Tax Deal and its Economic Impact

  1. Q: What is the $70 Billion Tax Deal, and why is it significant for the US economy?
    • A: The $70 Billion Tax Deal is a proposed legislation offering tax breaks for businesses and families. Its significance lies in its potential to provide a fiscal boost, influencing economic dynamics.
  2. Q: How does the tax deal aim to benefit businesses, and what are the specific measures proposed?
    • A: The tax deal aims to benefit businesses by reviving tax breaks for research and development, increasing deductibility for investments, and supporting business loans. These measures aim to stimulate economic activity.
  3. Q: What is the child tax credit boost, and how does it contribute to the overall proposal?
    • A: The child tax credit boost is a component of the deal, but it differs from the Covid-era version. Its aim is to reduce child poverty, although debates continue on its size, refundability, and payment frequency.
  4. Q: How might the tax deal impact consumer spending, and what are the potential risks associated with it?
    • A: The tax deal could boost consumer spending by injecting extra cash into the economy. However, the associated risk includes the potential for reigniting inflation pressures.
  5. Q: What challenges do Congressional negotiators face in reaching an agreement on the tax deal?
    • A: Congressional negotiators face challenges such as deep divisions over fiscal priorities, differences on issues like state-and-local tax deductions, low-income housing credits, and the child tax credit’s robustness.
  6. Q: Why do economists express concerns about inflation, and how might it affect the Federal Reserve’s actions?
    • A: Economists express concerns about inflation due to potential surges in consumer spending. This complicates the Federal Reserve’s ability to lower interest rates, balancing economic stimulus with inflation control.
  7. Q: When can households expect to see the impact of the tax deal, if approved?
    • A: If the tax deal is approved, money could start flowing to households as early as March, providing timely economic relief.
  8. Q: How does the proposed tax deal align with or differ from existing fiscal stimulus measures related to the pandemic?
    • A: The proposed tax deal adds to existing fiscal stimulus measures, raising questions about the necessity and prudence of additional economic measures during a period of substantial growth.
  9. Q: What role does the child tax credit play in President Joe Biden’s economic strategy, especially considering current economic concerns?
    • A: The child tax credit plays a crucial role in President Joe Biden’s economic strategy, emphasizing its extension and availability for low and moderate-income families to reduce child poverty.
  10. Q: What impact might the tax deal have on the broader US fiscal trajectory, considering concerns from rating agencies?
  • A: The tax deal’s impact on the US fiscal trajectory is a subject of scrutiny, especially with concerns from rating agencies like Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, highlighting the need for a balanced fiscal approach.

Tags: economy, tax deal, fiscal stimulus, inflation, Congressional negotiations, child tax credit, bipartisan challenges, fiscal trajectory, economic impact, rating agencies



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