White House press secretary Jen Psaki was not willing to elaborate Tuesday on why Democrats’ $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better” bill would not increase the national debt.
Of course, the price tag is up in the air as Democrats seek a top line that moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are willing to stomach, but the essence of the legislation has remained the same: starting a bunch of new open-ended entitlement programs.
Some big-ticket items include taxpayer-funded pre-K, rental assistance payments, free community college, paid family and sick leave, expanded health care benefits, enhanced child tax credits and climate change initiatives.
“Does the president still believe that Build Back Better will not add a dime to the national debt?” a reporter asked Psaki during a Tuesday White House briefing.
“Correct. It won’t,” she responded.
“Why should Americans believe that?” the reporter followed up.
“Because it won’t,” Psaki answered before trying to move on to another question.
Reporter: “Does the president still believe that Build Back Better will not add a dime to the national debt?”
Psaki: “Correct. It Won’t.”
Reporter: “Why should Americans believe that?”
Psaki: “Because it won’t.” pic.twitter.com/QB86LDjhPc
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 19, 2021
The reporter understandably wasn’t ready to accept Psaki’s glib response without at least one more pass at the topic.
“[President Joe Biden] says he wants to get more taxes in,” he said. “What if the economy goes sour? Lots of things can happen. You’re going to tell … future generations not even born yet that they’re not on the hook for this? Is that right?”
“That’s right, and hopefully you’ll report accurate information yourself,” Psaki said.
Well, here’s some accurate information: Even the $3.5 trillion price tag is far less than the legislation is likely to cost.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Government estimated the true cost of the bill would be between $5 trillion and $5.5 trillion over the next ten years, because some programs are only partially funded by the legislation.
As the reporter hinted in his exchange with Psaki, one problem in determining whether the bill is paid for is that it counts on new revenue generated by taxing corporations and the “rich” more heavily.
However, hiking the corporate tax rate to the levels Democrats are proposing would make the U.S. one of the highest-taxed countries in the world, which is likely to hurt economic and job growth.
America’s combined average federal and state corporate income tax would be nearly 6 percent higher than China’s 25 percent rate.
— Tax Foundation (@TaxFoundation) September 22, 2021
Psaki has no idea whether the federal debt will increase if the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill is passed into law. Strong evidence suggests it will likely go up by trillions.
There’s some accurate reporting for you, Ms. Psaki.
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