While Nancy Pelosi hopes to pass the so-called “Build Back Better” bill tonight in the House, some bad news came down the line from the CBO.
Previous commitments were made by some “moderate” Democrats to vote for the bill only if the budget score came back deficit-neutral. But the preliminary numbers are out, and it looks like the CBO has completely debunked the White House’s “it costs zero dollars” talking point.
After reading the CBO’s post, Democrats instantly cheered and took to social media.
CBO has estimated that H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, would increase outlays by $80 billion and revenues by $207 billion, thus decreasing the deficit by $127 billion, through 2031. https://t.co/GrbShPusVK
— U.S. CBO (@USCBO) November 18, 2021
The excitement resulted from an incorrect understanding of the CBO’s scoring system for this bill. The CBO does not give a single, concise number. Instead, it is breaking down the bill piece by piece. This was done by Democrats to try and muddy the waters.
The CBO actually announces that new provisions regarding tax enforcement would result in a deficit reduction of $207 billion. I would certainly hope that such enforcement wouldn’t cost more than it brings in (because if it did, that would make no sense at all), but that was not a score on the actual spending portions of the bill.
Here’s what that looks like laid out on an easy-to-read chart.
🚨BREAKING 🚨- CBO scores show Build Back Better would add $159 billion to the deficit, as written.
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— Marc Goldwein – GET VAXXED! (@MarcGoldwein) November 18, 2021
This deficit gap appears to be caused by the Biden administration’s way of overestimating the amount of money their tax enforcement mechanisms would bring in. As in, they overestimated new revenue by around 50%, and you can consider me skeptical that the CBO’s lower score is even legitimate given how many false promises we’ve been sold about “eliminating waste and fraud” with past spending bills
You can see my very first article on RedState on this subject. I deconstructed their gamesmanship about Obamacare.
CBO estimates IRS Enforcement yields $207B. White House has less than $400B
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) November 18, 2021
Remember that $159 Billion is added to the deficit after adding in increased revenue from tax enforcement. Again, it’s highly unlikely that $207 billion will be found by the government after they dump more money into IRS.
In other words, the Biden administration, Nancy Pelosi, and every other Democrat who ran out to claim this bill “costs zero dollars” lied. These people were lying, either maliciously or out of complete ignorance. They didn’t have the data necessary to make this statement. The bill is not free. It adds to the deficit, and past the already high number, it could add even more to the deficit if the CBO’s pie in the sky estimation of new tax revenue doesn’t materialize.
BREAKING: The Congressional Budget Office projects “Build Back Broke” adds hundreds of billions to the deficit over a decade.
Biden promised it wouldn’t add a “single penny.”https://t.co/A4paAEk0gR
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 18, 2021
This sure feels like “lie of the year” material. Biden and his cohorts have been repeating this falsehood for months, snarking at reporters and trashing anyone who would dare to suggest that massive new social programs aren’t free. But we who said the sky was blue ended up being right.
Where do Democrats go from there? I’m guessing some tweaks are coming (likely to the SALT provisions) to fudge the numbers a bit more, but with Joe Manchin recently signaling he’s getting cold feet over inflation concerns, my money is on this not getting done before Christmas.