President Biden on Friday insisted that his $3.5 trillion social welfare bill has a “zero price tag” and the spending will be fully paid for.
Speaking at the White House, Mr. Biden vowed that Democrats are “going to pay for everything we spend.”
“It is zero price tag on the debt,” Mr. Biden said. “We are going to pay for everything we spend.”
The president plans to pay for the massive spending with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, though congressional Democrats are still working out the details of the tax plan.
Still, he is confident the massive spending won’t incur new taxes on anyone making less than $400,000, which was one of his key campaign promises.
What’s more, he said anyone who is not superrich should look at his spending agenda as a tax cut.
“It’s all paid for,” he said. “A lot of these are flat tax cuts that exist within my proposal and they are being calculated as if the cost of the childcare tax credit is a cost to the government. It’s not. It’s reducing taxes.”
In his remarks, Mr. Biden contradicted an August report from the Congressional Budget Office that showed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package alone would add $256 billion to the federal budget deficit over ten years.
With scattershot replies to reporters’ questions, Mr. Biden acknowledged that the negotiations were bogged down over both the $3.5 expansion of the social safety and his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“I think it’s just going to take some time,” he said, later adding, “Hopefully, at the end of the day, I’ll be able to deliver on what I said I would do.”
His remarks belied the optimism expressed by the White House this week that a deal would be reached soon. The president had spent this past week meeting with lawmakers, urging them to focus on specific provisions rather than the package as a whole.