Not long after the Democrat-led House passed President Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” social and climate spending bill, analysts critical of the package were quick to point out what is really at stake for average Americans if the measure makes it past the Senate.
Despite what the White House, the president, and Democrats say, GOP lawmakers and analysts warn that ordinary wage earners will likely see their taxes increase, and what’s more, they are also going to fall under new scrutiny from a newly empowered IRS searching for every last dollar to pay for the nearly $2 trillion in spending.
“The spending is unsustainable. As Margaret Thatcher said, at some point, you run out of other people’s money,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) said on Friday, the New York Post reported.
The freshman lawmaker, who recently also voted for Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, said the Build Back Better plan is really the “Build Back Broke bill,” as well as a “Democratic socialist spending spree.”
She predicted that the “short-term impacts will be inflation and a higher cost of living — and the longer-term impact will be tax increases on the middle class.”
Already, inflation is at its highest level in decades, which analysts have said amounts to a “hidden tax” on consumers at all income levels but which hurt the poorest Americans the most.
“It is a destructive bill that will crush the middle class and hard-working Americans,” Malliotakis added, The Post said.
According to an analysis released this week by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, via the University of Pennsylvania, the real cost of the measure will rise to around $4.6 trillion over the course of the next decade, if the measures are made permanent — which often turns out to be the case with such spending bills after tens of millions of Americans become accustomed to various payouts and benefits.
In fact, Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate West Virginia Democrat who has already voiced opposition to several provisions in the bill, has voiced that very concern.
“As more of the real details outlined in the basic framework are released, what I see are shell games and budget gimmicks that make the real cost of this so-called $1.75 trillion dollar bill estimated to be twice as high if the programs are extended or made permanent,” he said earlier this month.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan organization, which said on Thursday that the plan’s actual cost is $2.4 trillion, noted in another study that the true cost is actually closer to $4.9 trillion.
Here’s just one example of what is feeding the concerns by Manchin and others that the bill will actually cost a lot more in the years to come.
“The temporary provisions include child tax credits that were part of the $1.9 trillion pandemic-related stimulus package that Biden signed into law in March, which provided parents with $3,600 for each child under age 6 and $3,000 each up to age 17, at a total cost of about $130 billion,” The Post reported, noting that the program is popular but is only extended for another year under Biden’s measure.
However, a number of seasoned observers believe that the program will be extended next year ahead of the 2020 midterms.
“Politically, no one believes that will be allowed to expire after one year,” Peter Warren, director of research at the conservative Empire Center for Tax Policy in Albany, told The Post.
He added that “Democrats are using every budgetary gimmick available to them and the main budget gimmick they used is to sunset these provisions.”
However, “if they were to continue those programs the question is: Where will this money come from? And they’d need even more tax increases,” Warren noted further.
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