Even Chris Wallace fact checks top Biden adviser peddling the ‘cost zero’ lie

In a departure from his usual demeanor or approach, Chris Wallace fact-checked a Democrat in real-time about what might be described as fuzzy math to use a back-in-the-day term coined, as it were, by ex-President G.W. Bush while debating Al Gore.

During the interview, the host of “Fox News Sunday,” who typically espouses conventional Beltway platitudes while reserving tough questions for Republicans, challenged President Biden senior advisor Cedric Richmond, the ex-New Orleans congressman, about the basic accounting method for the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill.

Democrats hope to pass the massive appropriation through a parliamentary process known as reconciliation that circumvents a potential U.S. Senate filibuster by GOP lawmakers.

Despite its massive price tag, “this piece of legislation costs zero,” Richmond claimed about the legislation, echoing Biden, who has asserted that the so-called Build Back Better plan “adds zero to the national debt.”

Richmond then added that “we’re going to pay for it all by raising taxes on the very wealthy and big corporations….”

This prompted Wallace to jump in to question the balance-sheet procedures: “Mr. Richmond, I’ve got to — I’ve got to stop you there. It doesn’t cost zero. Whether it’s 3-1/2 trillion, or 2 trillion, or 1-1/2 trillion, whatever, it costs that amount of money. Now, you can pay for it either by borrowing it, or you can pay for it by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, but it doesn’t cost zero.”

Along with touting the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act that Congress passed earlier this year, Richmond responded that it was former President Trump’s fault.

“At the end of the day, it will cost zero because we’re going to pay for it. Now, if you go back and look at the Trump tax cuts, which weren’t paid for, they cost billions and billions. But we’re going to pay for everything we spend here. And that is not including the economic benefits and gains that we will get from it. We know what we’re doing….”

“But again, I just want to press down on this,” an undeterred Wallace continued in the Economics 101 conversation, “because I can understand the argument, a lot of people say that your math is wrong and even that it won’t add zero to the debt. You could make the argument if you pay for it that you add zero to the debt, but that doesn’t mean that it costs zero. I mean, the fact that you’re raising people’s taxes is a cost.”

Watch this portion of the interview embedded below:

(Video: Fox News)

Richmond then claimed that the legislation reduces taxes for 50 million Americans. Common sense suggests, however, that the devil is in the details on that assertion. Consistent bookkeeping or accurate projections have never been a particular area of expertise for the federal government.

“But net-net if it’s a two-trillion-dollar spending plan, net-net, it would cost two trillion dollars,” Wallace insisted.

Richmond then said that he wasn’t “necessarily sure about that,” and implied that the top number and politics were less important than delivering for the American people, even though he implied that Republicans won’t be involved in the negotiations.

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) ominously told CNN last week that “the federal government can afford anything.”

At the moment, moderate Democrat Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin of Arizona and West Virginia, respectively, are for the most part all that stand in the way of the Democrats achieving the full extent of their enormous socialistic spending goals, which includes about another trillion on infrastructure, as the progressives define it.

Richmond, who used the at-the-end of the-day cliche at least twice during the exchange with Wallace, also claimed that Biden “knows what he’s doing” and “has a vision” for the country. In late August, during a wide-ranging discussion of the botched Afghanistan troop withdrawal, however, Wallace straight up asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken “Does the president not know what’s going on?”

Wallace reverted to his standard practice last month while guesting on Stephen Colbert’s show to sell a book during which he humble-bragged about purposely keeping certain election-challenging Republican politicians off of his Sunday platform.


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