President Joe Biden has doubled down on his claim that his Build Back Better agenda will not cost the average American taxpayer anything.
“The cost of the Build Back Better Agenda is $0,” the White House tweeted Sunday.
“The President’s plan won’t add to our national deficit and no one making under $400,000 per year will see their taxes go up a single penny,” the tweet read. “It’s fully paid for by ensuring big corporations and the very wealthy pay their fair share.”
Biden and his administration maintain their claim that Build Back Better, a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, will cost zero dollars, despite both Republican and Democratic analysts refuting the claim. The president bases the zero-cost claim on the theory that the package will not add to the federal deficit because the cost will be covered by tax increases and other revenue-generating schemes.
Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the reconciliation bill will raise a mere $2.1 trillion through taxes over 10 years, much less than the $3.5 trillion costs. The $3.5 trillion figure itself is being questioned as to the true cost: The Wall Street Journal editorial board maintains that it’s based on “budget gimmickry including entitlement phaseouts and phase-ins” and that the actual cost “will be at least $5 trillion, probably far more.”
The Washington Post’s fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, agreed that the zero-cost claim is “misleading” and argued that lawmakers “play all sorts of budget games to achieve the mythical zero within the 10-year budget framework.” He said the bill’s impact on the deficit could “be as low as zero or as high as $1.75 trillion over 10 years.”
The White House tweet Sunday triggered a plethora of skeptical responses from the public.