The “Build Back Better” Bill Will Spend a Lot of Money To Make Our Problems Worse
Should we ignore the costs of the “Build Back Better” bill and simply focus on the benefits? Wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately, the most constructive criticisms of the legislation reveal why the magical thinking behind this monstrously expensive spending package will not improve American society.
In urging us to focus less on costs, economist Alan Blinder asserts: “The House bill includes several real winners. Do you oppose universal pre-K education? You shouldn’t; it works. Are you against more-affordable child care? Not many Americans are. Do you think we should ignore global climate change? If so, think again.”
But these assertions are weak. You can support pre-K education and affordable child care and worry about climate change without believing that heavy-handed government is the best answer. A compelling case can be made that the most effective policy lawmakers could follow to achieve these goals is simply to get out of the way. Indeed, it’s likely that a great deal of the BBB legislation will obstruct progress.
Start with pre-K education and child care. It sure does sound good to promise that this massive spending bill will lower what parents pay for pre-K education and child care more broadly, but it won’t.
First, the legislation doesn’t address why child care is so expensive in the first place. More people seeking it will only collide with ill-advised government restrictions on the supply of such care—restrictions like the excessive occupational licensing and credential rules that prevent plenty of qualified people from offering their services. A bill that truly aims to reduce the cost of child care would remov
Article from Reason.com