The Washington Post on Tuesday fact-checked U.S. President Joe Biden over his claims that he can accomplish his spending goals with a price tag of “zero” dollars.
While speaking to reporters on Friday, Biden claimed that his spending plan for the country has a “zero price tag on the debt. We’re paying — we’re going to pay for everything we spend,” according to footage and a transcript of the news conference obtained by Factbase.
The following day, the President wrote in a Twitter post: “My Build Back Better Agenda 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
“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,” Biden’s tweet further stated.
According to the Biden administration, the Build Back Better Agenda is an “ambitious plan to create jobs, cut taxes, and lower costs for working families,” which among other things seeks to lower the cost of child care, higher education, prescription drugs, health care and housing, as well as institute tax cuts for low-wage workers and families with children.
The agenda also seeks job creation through workforce training, clean-energy jobs, and investing in teachers and schools.
The Biden Administration plans to fund such lofty goals “by making the tax code fairer and making the wealthiest and large corporations pay their fair share,” which is Democrat-speak for raising corporate and other taxes that Americans have to pay to the government.
Despite Biden’s belief that the Build Back Better Agenda would cost “zero dollars” and his optimistic claims that his plan will not increase the nation’s already high deficit, the plan would require around $3.5 trillion through a reconciliation bill for it to be implemented according to the New York Post.
On Tuesday, Washington Post fact-checkers gave Biden’s comments two “Pinnochios.” By the Post’s fact-check rating scale, a Pinnochio count of two means that the statements by Biden had “[s]ignificant omissions and/or exaggerations.”
“Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily,” according to the Posts’ rating description. “A politician can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people. (Similar to ‘half true.’)”
Regarding Biden’s zero-cost budget claim, the Post wrote that, “given our long experience in writing about the federal budget, we’re pretty certain a deficit score of zero would only be accomplished with some dubious gimmicks that help disguise the true cost of Biden’s agenda.”
“Even if the reconciliation bill lands with a calculated deficit impact of zero, the president will still be in a deficit hole because of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.”
“Originally the two bills were supposed to work in tandem, but now the White House claims only the reconciliation bill represents the president’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan. That wasn’t the story in the spring,” the Post’s fact-check report stated.
In addition to the Post — a major, left-leaning legacy news outlet — several Republicans slammed Biden for his claims that his plan will have a price tag of zero dollars.
GOP Congresswoman Mary Miller of Illinois called Biden’s claims “a lie.”
This is a lie. https://t.co/Fvc1FLVk1X
— Congresswoman Mary Miller (@RepMaryMiller) September 27, 2021
“Simple math for President Biden: $3.5 trillion does NOT equal zero,” GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney of New York said on Twitter.
Simple math for President Biden:
$3.5 trillion does NOT equal zero. https://t.co/pVqODYCOGT
— Congresswoman Tenney (@RepTenney) September 26, 2021
“This is completely false. The largest spending spree in government history will cost ‘zero dollars’? That defies logic and basic math. Alongside massive tax increases, it will add trillions to the debt. Peddling false narratives won’t change those facts,” said Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas.
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