CBO: Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan Will Add $367 Billion to the Deficit
For months, the White House has been promising that President Joe Biden’s massive social spending package would be fully paid for—that is, that tax increases and other revenue-generating aspects of the “Build Back Better” plan would fully offset the nearly $1.7 trillion in proposed new spending.
We now know that’s not true.
Biden’s plan will add $367 billion to the budget deficit over 10 years, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’s nonpartisan number-crunching agency.
That figure comes with two big caveats. One that could increase the bill’s impact on the budget deficit, and one that could reduce it.
Most importantly, the $367 billion figure could be significantly higher if not for a series of gimmicks written into the proposal intended to game the CBO’s scoring system. As Reason has previously covered, several key components of the plan are technically being implemented on a temporary basis, even though it is obvious that Congress will eventually make them permanent. Those arbitrary sunsets and temporary extensions help to hide future costs since the CBO cannot forecast costs over 10 years for programs that are technically only supposed to operate for a year or two.
Even with those gimmicks, and despite provisions that would raise taxes by more than $1.2 trillion, the overall package falls short of Biden’s promise not to add to the deficit.
The second caveat has to do with the part of the proposal that would beef up IRS enforcement in order to collect taxes that are owed but not paid. The White House argues that $80 billion in additional funding for the IRS will generate $400 billion in new revenue over the next 10 years—enough to fill the hole
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