The Build Back Better bill proposed by Joe Biden would cost a little less than $2 trillion, according to Democrats who are pushing the bill in Congress.
But that’s (literally) not the half of it. There are several elements in the bill that will supposedly “sunset” in a few years. It’s a budgetary gimmick because it will be politically impossible to actually “sunset” the provisions due to their political popularity. Those “sunset provisions” that are not “sunset” provisions would nearly double the cost of the bill.
This fact was exposed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is now saying that the Build Back Better bill would add $3 trillion in federal deficits over the next 10 years. The CBO’s original projection that included all the sunset provisions estimated the deficit would increase by a modest $167 billion over the next decade.
Needless to say, the Biden administration is desperately trying to put lipstick on that pig.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tried to preempt news of the expanded budget analysis by sending out a Thursday night memo to lawmakers. She said President Joe Biden has vowed to pay for any extensions of the legislation’s provisions and that “it is inappropriate to judge this legislation based on an assumption that future acts of Congress won’t be paid for.”
“Tomorrow, the Congressional Budget Office is expected to release its analysis,” she wrote. “To be clear, this should not be confused with a score of the Build Back Better Act, which was already released. Instead, this analysis is of a bill that the House did not pass, the Senate is not considering, and the President — who has committed to paying for permanent investment — would not sign.”
Why is it “inappropriate to judge this legislation based on an assumption that future acts of Congress won’t be paid for” when Congress hasn’t paid for any of Biden’s spendapalooza at all?
Manchin has decried the early sunsets for several provisions in the legislation, calling them “shell games.” The new CBO score with permanent provisions, requested by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the top Republican on the Budget Committee, is likely geared toward trying to peel away Manchin’s support for the spending legislation.
“This is a recipe for economic crisis,” Manchin has said of the budgetary tactics.
In fact, Graham and the Republicans have made it virtually impossible for Manchin to vote for the bill, given what he’s said previously about it contributing to inflation.
Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi are trying to add a ball gown for the pig in lipstick.
Schumer and Pelosi out with statements, saying this is a “fake” CBO report because, they argue, any extensions of the programs would be “fully offset.” “Republicans did not include this important fact in their request,” Schumer says
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 10, 2021
A “fake” CBO report? Really? Ed Morrissey applies the necessary lobotomy to that idiocy.
This is a nonsense argument on its face. If these programs were truly “fully offset” in their full extended form, there would have been no need for Democrats to created the complicated gimmickry they erected to hide their full cost. They still claim that this version of BBB is also “fully offset,” but the CBO shows it adding at least $231 billion to the deficit. And that’s only after the very sunny predictions of increased revenue from greater income-tax enforcement.
Coupled with the latest news about inflation hitting 6.8 percent, the Build Back Better bill would now appear to be on life support without much chance it will come back.
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