There was much confusion yesterday in the tax and pro-life world courtesy of a story in Bloomberg on taxes in H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." This inflammatory article incorrectly reported that there is a conflict between the pro-life movement and taxpayer advocates because H.R. 3 is a net tax hike.
The facts simply don't bear that out.
The official score on H.R. 3 was produced by the Congressional Budget Office. CBO says that H.R. 3 has "negligible effects on tax revenue." In budget scoring-talk, that's synonymous with saying a bill has a $0 net tax effect. Because a bill which has no net tax effect cannot possibly be a tax hike, H.R. 3 is perfectly-acceptable to taxpayer advocate conservatives, and there certainly is no danger of the bill running afoul of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The bill cuts spending and doesn't raise net taxes, so it's ideal fiscal policy.
ATR sent a letter of clarification to the Ways and Means Committee stating this obvious series of facts. We have also communicated our displeasure with the yellow journalism practiced by Bloomberg in this matter, a media outlet which is normally totally professional and reasonable. ATR President Grover Norquist today Tweeted that Bloomberg "screwed up" in their reporting of the story.
The fact is, no conflict exists between ATR and the pro-life movement. We've been working with them from the beginning to ensure that H.R. 3 is Pledge-compliant, which it is and always has been. We will continue to work amicably with any Congressional office to make sure their bills are not net tax hikes and are Pledge-compliant.