As we previously reported, Joe Biden is going all-in with this ridiculous claim, suddenly, that his $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill costs “zero dollars.”
My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars.
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.
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 26, 2021
He wasn't alone in trying to push this claim. As we pointed out, he had Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) parroting the claim. Now, other Democrats have now jumped aboard the narrative train including Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Terrifying news: A dangerous contagion is sweeping across Washington. It’s a virus that specifically targets victims’ hippocampus, particularly impacting the area of the brain responsible for … basic math. See for yourself! pic.twitter.com/wdj5lbUhvk
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 27, 2021
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) signed on board as well.
The actual cost of the Build Back Better Act is $0.00, not $3.5 trillion. The legislation will be paid for by taxing the wealthiest & corporations so we fund the needs of working families.
— Rep. Alan Lowenthal (@RepLowenthal) September 23, 2021
Here's White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki trying to sell the same claim.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki bizarrely claims the Democrats' reckless tax-and-spending bill will cost "zero dollars."
In reality, their socialist scheme will cost $3.5 TRILLION (or more)—paid for by American taxpayers. pic.twitter.com/aRA1TKRHTw
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 27, 2021
But, of course, what would a Democratic agenda narrative be without help from their buddies in the liberal media to promote the point as well?
Washington Post economics columnist Catherine Rampell went all in trying to justify this perverse logic.
WaPo’s @crampell: Media focusing too much on the pricetag of Dems’ $3.5T bill: “The bill itself will not cost $3.5T in the sense it will be entirely, or at least partly, paid for. So the actual cost will be smaller than that, perhaps zero, although I think that’s unlikely" pic.twitter.com/mHHYyHbgRT
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 26, 2021
“It's a weird shorthand used but the bill itself will not cost $3.5 trillion in the sense it will be entirely paid for,” Rampell claimed. “So the actual cost will be smaller than that, perhaps zero.”
Brit Hume called that nonsense and WaPo fact-checker Glenn Kessler then stepped into it to support her claim.
Uh, do people not understand gross cost versus net? $3.5 trillion is before tax increases and fees. Trump’s gross tax cut was $5.5 trillion before other tax increases etc reduced it to $2 trillion in net costs (ie, higher deficits) https://t.co/Kd7iV7l5gS
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) September 27, 2021
Alright, enough already. Are all those folks economically illiterate? Are they willing to appear so to promote the Democratic agenda?
The bottom line is the bill costs at least $3.5 trillion. Even if you found a way to pay for it, that wouldn't change that, yes, it still costs money. Increasing taxes doesn't make it cost nothing. So no, there is still a “cost,” even if you claim to have a way to pay for it. Plus, the way that you're claiming that you'll pay for it is on the backs of the American taxpayers. So, again, that exacts a “cost” as well, both on the taxpayers and on the economy you harm by doing so. On top of all that, if anyone believes Biden that the tax revenues raised are actually going to pay for all this, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.
Indeed, this is such a lie, their own best figures — even if we believe them — don't support this assertion.
Moreover, there is absolutely no evidence to support Biden's claim that his proposed taxes will pay for the entirety of his spending spree. The House Ways and Means Committee has only approved a tax hike package that would raise about $2.1 trillion — where's the other $1.4 trillion going to come from? Not one Democrat has an answer to that because they can't even put together a complete bill for the Congressional Budget Office to approve. They are, quite literally, making stuff up as they go and hoping that no one will notice.
So why have they suddenly come up with this lie they are attempting to sell with all the finesse of a steamroller?
It's because Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have the moderates pushing back against the cost of all of this and they're all balking. On top of that, that's making Americans ask more questions, with six in ten agreeing with Manchin that “pausing” to consider all this was a good idea. So this puts the bill at huge risk if they can't just slam it right through and people actually start looking at what's actually in it. They're going to find out how horrible it is. But everyone understands the price tag is ridiculous. If Americans really knew what was in it, as well, they would run screaming for the hills as far away from the bill as they could. And I'll give you a little teaser — I'm going to do a piece tomorrow on some of those bad items in the bill.