Joe Biden is announcing to the Democrats this morning they have a framework for a deal on the Build Back Better bill. He’s hoping to have a deal in hand before he heads out of the country for the G20 meeting.
But as we noted, it remains to be seen if the progressives will go along with voting on the infrastructure bill, if there’s a framework for a deal on the bigger reconciliation bill.
The word is that the numbers for the Build Back Better bill are now at $1.75 trillion – down from the original stated $3.5 trillion — but as we said, that’s without a CBO score. It’s also without text for the bill, so it’s hard to assess.
But while we’d like to think that reduction on the numbers shows that some common sense is coming into play and that they’re chucking some of the stinker parts out of the bill, unfortunately, that might not be completely true.
Part of how they are reaching those numbers is that they are only scoring a few years of each new proposal: starting new giveaways, believing that Congress — after having them for a couple of years — would then not be able to cut them back. They’re also jacking around the start times to other programs so they are more hidden.
For example, the March stimulus law temporarily expanded the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child (and $3,600 for children under the age of 6), and expanded eligibility to higher incomes. Democrats have made clear that they want this policy made permanent at a cost of $1.3 trillion over the decade. Yet the initial reconciliation proposal expanded the policy for just four years, and now the White House is calling for just a one-year extension — effectively hiding nearly $1.2 trillion in upcoming costs. Congress already renews a small number of tax cuts each December, and the child credit will simply become another annual extender.
But the gimmick Olympics do not stop at the child credit. The White House has reportedly proposed three- to four-year expiration dates for other initiatives such as paid family leave, Medicaid expansion and new ObamaCare subsidies. A proposed new child care program — which a study by the left-wing People’s Policy Project shows could raise child care prices by $13,000 per year — would reportedly phase in slowly and expire after a few years. On the other side of the gimmick window, a new Medicare dental benefit would be delayed until 2028, and then have its costs jump once outside the 10-year scoring period.
Most cynical of all is the Democrats’ maneuver on the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. The $10,000 cap is set to expire at the end of 2025, but House Democrats want to eliminate it immediately. So to “pay for” that immediate $90 billion-per-year tax cut, Democrats would actually impose a new SALT cap beginning in 2026 — count that future revenue as an offset — and then quickly cancel the tax before it ever goes into effect. In other words, they are creating entirely fake future policies in order to count the fake savings today.
So basically, it’s all trick to cover-up the actual costs and how they will hit. The NY Post estimates the real total (using a $2 trillion estimate as their base) at $7.5 trillion. That’s before the text which might actually pump it up more. This is the massive spending extravaganza that the Biden team has shamelessly claimed would cost “zero dollars.”
Then their concept that somehow this is all going to be paid by taxes on the one percent isn’t based in reality. Not to mention if it actually cost “zero dollars,” why would you need to tax anyone to pay for it?
According to their own estimates, this tax only covers ~10% of the $3.5 trillion spending bill.
Where will the other 90% come from?
The answer is you.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2021
That’s based on the unreal spending number being $3.5 trillion — not the actual number, which would then be more than $7.5 trillion, as we noted above.
They even want to tax on unrealized capital gains.
It’s a nightmare that hopefully will be soundly defeated.