The CBO Takes a Sledgehammer to Joe Biden's 'Build Back Better' Agenda

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

For many months now, the White House and Democrats at large have repeated the obvious falsehood that Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda will cost “zero dollars.” In fact, the Treasury Department, led by Janet Yellen, has actually asserted that the bill lowers the deficit over the long term.

Then some weeks back, initial CBO estimates exposed that foolishness for exactly what it was. Contrary to the claims of the administration, the BBB bill would actually raise the deficit by some $160 billion. And to even get to that number, the CBO had to estimate future tax receipts based on provisions to increase tax enforcement. Anyone who has ever heard a politician talk about a coming tax revenue windfall from cleaning up “waste and fraud” knows how big of a scam that is. It just never happens.

The bad news didn’t stop with those first CBO estimates, though. Today’s inflation report showed a 6.8 percent rate of growth, and Joe Manchin, who had previously seemed open to a $1.5 trillion compromise bill, has seemingly gotten cold feet. But it was this afternoon that the sledgehammer good and fully came crashing down on the weak knees of Biden’s agenda.

The CBO released another estimate that showed the true cost of the BBB bill after all the “temporary” programs in it are extended. That’s been the Democrat game. Just like with Obamacare, the Democrats wanted the BBB bill to be scored with more years of funding than programs. But that’s not how things work in the real world. So what’s the real number? You may want to grab a towel because it’s going to make your eyes water.

Over just ten years, the BBB bill would actually add $3 trillion more dollars to the national debt. As to Biden’s promise to pay for any future extensions, how is he going to do that? He’s blowing smoke up the collective backside of America and even the CBO, which bent over backward to fudge the numbers surrounding Obamacare, isn’t letting him get away with it anymore.

Here’s the thing everyone needs to know about government programs: They never go away once they are instituted. There is no world in which that universal pre-K program or those healthcare subsidies are just ended a few years from now. Thus, it is far more honest to score the BBB bill based on what it’s actually going to cost in the real world, not just what it’s going to cost on paper via a bunch of cheap gimmicks.

I think Joe Manchin realizes that, and that’s why his opposition has appeared to harden over the last week. This bill is going to be a financial disaster that slams the middle-class with even more inflation while providing little value for the average American. Perhaps Biden and his handlers can pull a rabbit out of their hat and still get this thing passed, but as it stands, the smart money is on it crashing and burning.