Recently, President Joe Biden has been criticized for saying that his $3.5 trillion infrastructure spending plan, known as Build Back Better, will cost the country nothing.
“My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars,” President Biden tweeted Saturday. “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.”
This Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeated Biden’s bold claim to reporters and said that, indeed, the cost of the spending plan will be $0.
“The dollar amount, as the president said, is zero,” Pelosi said, and emphasized her assertion by forming a zero with her fingers. “This plan will be paid for.”
Biden’s agenda seeks to be funded by a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill containing funds for climate, family leave, education and social safety net expansion.
Democrats and the White House have proposed paying for the spending plan through an IRS offensive, through stepped-up audits of taxpayers and by raising corporate taxes from 21 % to 26.5 %.
But the spending plan has become a point of contention in Congress as Democrats struggle over when to vote on the bill and what its cost to the country would be.
Republicans and Democrats challenge the spending plan
Even some moderate Democrats, such as Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), have also expressed concerns about the reconciliation package during the debate.
Manchin has suggested he would not support a bill over $1.5 trillion, and has said he would not approve a tax rate against corporations that exceeds 25 %.
Murphy went so far as to point out that the bill lacks a cost analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, and even voted no on some provisions.
“I don’t think we can afford it all,” Murphy said. “Unless something changes, I have no choice but to vote no on every subtitle (in the bill) and on final passage.”
Predictably, Twitter became a shooting range as Republicans pounced on Biden for his outrageous statement.
Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack responded to Biden by telling him that his claim is “completely false” and that no “false narrative” will change the cost of the bill.
“This is completely false. The largest spending spree in government history will cost “zero dollars”?” tweeted Womack. “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.”
“This is a lie,” was the simple response from Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL).
For her part, New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a snarky tweet criticizing Biden’s math.
“Simple math for President Biden: $3.5 trillion does NOT equal zero,” Tenney tweeted.
Even some who support Biden’s agenda questioned his bold assertion. Author Ian Bremmer tweeted, “I strongly support the infrastructure plan. It is not costless.”
Finalmente, las críticas contra Biden por su afirmación de costo cero de su plan de gasto también aplican para Pelosi.