President Joe Biden was verbally assailed online over a tweet claiming that his “Build Back Better” agenda won’t add to the country’s already burgeoning national debt.
“My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars,” Biden said in his tweet, in reference to a $3.5 trillion spending bill currently being debated in Congress.
“Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America. And it adds zero dollars to the national debt,” Biden said.
My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars.
Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America.
And it adds zero dollars to the national debt.
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 26, 2021
But independent analyses of the plan refute the president’s claim, including one from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget that found the “true cost” of the bill is around $5 trillion.
“In order to fit these proposals within a $3.5 trillion budget target, lawmakers apparently intend to have some policies expire before the end of the ten-year budget window, using this oft-criticized budget gimmick to hide their true cost,” said the CRFB analysis. “Including additional policies not explicitly mentioned but rumored to be part of the package, and incorporating possible estimating differences between the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the cost could rise to $5.5 trillion.”
Also, according to the National Taxpayers Union, which cited the Congressional Budget Office, “deficits will average $1.2 trillion per year over the next 10 years (fiscal years 2022 through 2031),” regardless of whether the massive spending package Biden has proposed is fully paid for with new tax revenues, which many doubt. This, on top of a record $3.1 trillion in deficit spending for FY 2020 and an estimated $3 trillion in deficit spending for 2021, according to the CBO.
Then there is the issue of what raising taxes on corporations, which are likely to bear the brunt of the cost of the package — in direct taxes and new regulations — will have on revenue. Large new tax increases are likely to lead to less business investment and expansion, slower job growth, and diminished economic activity, all of which will reduce government tax income.
“Congress should be focused on addressing the dire debt and deficit picture,” the NTU’s analysis added. “Even if the $3.5-trillion spending plan and $1.2-trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan are fully offset — and that’s a highly uncertain proposition at this time – these plans would do nothing to mitigate the federal government’s $28.5 trillion debt or projected $1.2 trillion per-year deficits.”
Last week, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board also refuted Democrat claims that the spending package is fully paid form.
“Democrats are grasping for ways to finance their cradle-to-grave welfare state, with the left demanding what they claim is $3.5 trillion over 10 years. The truth is that even that gargantuan number hides the real cost of their plans,” the editorial board wrote.
“The bills moving through committees are full of delayed starts, phony phase-outs, and cost shifting to states designed to fit $3.5 trillion into a 10-year budget window that can pass with a mere 51 Senate votes,” the board added. “Even if the bill shrinks to $2 trillion or less, the real costs will be far greater. Behold one of the greatest fiscal cons in history.”
As for the president’s claim, it was quickly refuted by scores of Twitter blue-checks, including lawmakers.
“Costs zero dollars” https://t.co/QIuXP2adW8
— Scot Bertram (@ScotBertram) September 26, 2021
This is beyond insulting to even the average voters’ intelligence. https://t.co/vVTDEI19n0
— Libertarian Party of Connecticut (@LibertarianCT) September 26, 2021
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) September 26, 2021
MANY trillions of dollars in new spending “costs zero dollars”? Sure thing Big Guy.🤥 https://t.co/FPfL9qJk6w
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) September 26, 2021
— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) September 26, 2021
This is funny you don’t talk about this pic.twitter.com/1xnqwUfORr
— joel (@jrhoads228) September 26, 2021
Biden thinks his $3.5 trillion reckless spending plan “costs zero dollars”?
He is very confused. https://t.co/aNUyBnq5Up
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 26, 2021
On Saturday, the House Budget Committee voted 20-17 in favor of the spending bill, which will now send it to the full House where Democrats have a slim majority. The bill faces uncertainty in the evenly divided Senate, however, after West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said earlier this month on a number of occasions he can’t support it as-is because he believes it is too expensive.
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