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STATEMENT: Seth Hanlon on New GAO Report on Evaluating Tax Breaks

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Contact: Katie Peters
Phone: 202.741.6285

Washington, D.C. — The Government Accountability Office published a new report this week developing a framework to critically evaluate “tax expenditures”—the more than $1 trillion in special exemptions, deductions, and credits in the tax code. Seth Hanlon, Director of Fiscal Reform at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

This new GAO report is extremely timely given the appetite in Congress for comprehensive tax reform. Given fiscal challenges and the perceived unfairness and inefficiency of the tax code, there is an urgent need to critically evaluate whether tax expenditures are serving their intended purpose in a cost-effective way.

The GAO’s framework for evaluating tax expenditures is similar to one proposed by the Center for American Progress in recent reports, including “Government Spending Undercover” and “Reviewing What Works: Evaluating Programs and Tax Expenditures.” CAP’s recent “Doing What Works” project emphasized the need to scrutinize the tax expenditure budget to achieve greater efficiency, fairness, and budget savings.

To speak with Seth Hanlon, please contact Katie Peters at or 202.741.6285.


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