His supporters and President Joe Biden insisted that his Build Back Better agenda is “costless” despite all evidence to the contrary.
Glenn Kessler, Washington Post fact-checker, said that lawmakers “play all kinds of budget games in order to achieve that mythical Zero within the 10-year budget framework.”
Kessler called Biden’s claim “misleading” and gave the president “Two Pinocchios”. He also noted that the number of Pinocchios could increase.
Fox News reported that Biden is sticking to the “zero cost” approach as he tries to get a $1 trillion bipartisan bill for infrastructure and $3.5 legislation for social spending passed by Congress.
Kessler agrees with budget analysts that the president’s claim was incorrect.
Biden’s claim of “zero cost” is based on the idea that the infrastructure plan will not add anything to the federal budget because it will be offset with tax increases or other revenue-generating strategies.
Despite Democrats trying to use it to pass a larger spending bill, the president claims that his spending agenda doesn’t include the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars,” Biden’s @POTUS Twitter account tweeted last week.
“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.”
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, repeated last week the claim that “This reconciliation package would not cost zero dollars.”
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Speaker, also stated that the cost was zero.
Cedric Richmond, a senior adviser to Biden, stated that the reconciliation bill worth $3.5 trillion will not cost anything on Sunday.
“I think what’s important for people to understand is that this piece of legislation costs zero,” Richmond said. “We’re going to pay for it all by raising taxes on the very wealthy and big corporations.”
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., do not back the larger spending bill. Their support is needed to pass the bill via reconciliation in a chamber divided evenly along party lines.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board did not agree with $3.5 trillion. They argued that the figure was based on budget gimmickry, including entitlement phaseouts or phase-ins. The real cost of the project will be at most $5 trillion and probably much more.
Kessler stated the larger bill’s impact on the deficit could “be as low as zero or as high as $1.75 trillion over 10 years.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the $1 trillion bipartisan bill would increase the deficit by $256 billion over 10 years. However, the Committee for a Responsible Budget pointed out that CBO numbers suggested that the bill would add $398 million. Fox News stated that.