Since all of the fact-checkers seem to be on vacation during Joe Biden’s presidency, we decided to help out, confronting the newest whopper from the Biden administration: That his $3.5 trillion social-welfare bill will cost the American people “zero dollars.”
“My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars,” Mr. Biden’s account tweeted Saturday. “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.” On Monday, his press secretary, Jen Psaki, repeated the claim.
This gets a “pants on fire, totally false, four Pinocchios, absolute BS” rating from the Washington Times.
First, let’s understand the meaning of cost. According to Merriam-Webster, it’s “the amount or equivalent paid or charged for something” or “the outlay or expenditure (as of effort or sacrifice) made to achieve an object.”
Therefore, a $3,500,000,000,000 bill, which the Biden administration proposes will be paid for by taxing the rich and corporations who don’t pay their fair share – is not “costless.” These new taxes will eventually trickle down to the middle-class, in the form of higher product prices, lower wages, and more unemployment, as American firms look to offshore their businesses to avoid paying a higher tax rate.
Moreover, these proposed tax hikes don’t even cover the $3.5 trillion price tag. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimated this month, the Democrats’ tax-the-rich proposal will only raise $2.1 trillion in revenue – still about $1.4 trillion short of covering the cost of their plan. Congress says it will make up the difference by giving the Internal Revenue Service $80 billion to go after individuals and small businesses who may be shirking their responsibility.
Most importantly, the $3.5 trillion figure is fake. The true cost of the president’s entitlement plan is much higher when estimated beyond the ten years Congress is scoring it. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget finds the Democrats’ plan will cost as much as $5.5 trillion over a decade. This is because once entitlements go into effect, it’s very hard for lawmakers to take them away.
In terms of adding zero dollars to the national debt? Impossible. Mr. Biden is contradicting his own budget officials, of whom earlier this year estimated his agenda would increase the national debt by nearly $1.4 trillion over the decade. Furthermore, this week Congress is also looking to increase the federal government’s debt ceiling, increasing the amount the federal government can borrow.
If all this government spending is “paid for” as politicians have promised us for decades, then why does Washington, almost every year, have to raise their own debt limit? It would be akin to the average American maxing out all of their credit cards, then telling the bank to raise their limit, that they promise to pay it back – at some point – down the road.
Mr. Biden has already spent $1.9 trillion on a coronavirus relief bill. The Senate has passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Now, Mr. Biden wants $5.5 trillion more on a cradle-to-the-grave welfare program. This as American families are already facing rising prices everywhere, from the gas pump to the grocery store.
Now is not the time for Mr. Biden’s and Democrats’ tax and spending spree. We all know it’s not going to cost “zero-dollars,” but rather pass unheard of debt onto our children and grandchildren for generations to come.