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Pelosi And Schumer Awarded Wall Street Journal’s ‘Lie Of The Year’

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Congratulations are in order for House Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi who just won a, as the old man would say in “A Christmas Story,” major award.

Her claim that Joe Biden and the Democrats’ “Build Back Better” plan would not cost anything has won the prestigious Wall Street Journal “Lie Of The Year,” it reported on Monday.

We’ve been telling you for months that the plan’s advertised cost of $1.75 trillion over 10 years includes multiple budget gimmicks that disguise the real cost. The Penn Wharton Budget Model has scored the 10-year cost at about $4.6 trillion, but the White House keeps claiming against all evidence that the cost is “zero.”

Now comes the Congressional Budget Office to report that the claim of zero cost is a Big Con. CBO, a political outfit beholden to Congress, can’t be so blunt. It is constrained by budget conventions imposed by Congress. But even under those conventions, CBO has said the bill would add $200 billion to the deficit over 10 years.

Enter Sens. Lindsey Graham and John Cornyn, who asked CBO director Phillip Swagel to add up the cost of the bill that recently passed the House if all of its programs were made permanent. This is a more honest accounting because Democrats admit both that they want to make the spending permanent and that they’ve adjusted programs to make them fit under the Senate budget rules so they can pass with a mere 51 votes (including Vice President Kamala Harris ).

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Mr. Swagel’s response, sent on Friday, is a torpedo speeding toward the hull of Build Back Better. The dishonesty in the $1.75 trillion spending total is astonishing even by Congressional standards.

Democrats claim that the Child Tax Care credit will only cost $185 billion because it ends next year. But, as with any government entitlement, if you think it will not be extended again and again until it is made permanent you are in Dreamland.

But if it does continue to be extended, as is likely, the cost over 10 years would be an astonishing $1.597 trillion.

“But there’s so much more. Democrats phase out the child-care and pre-K entitlements after 2027 with a total cost of $381 billion. CBO says the real cost over 10 years is $752 billion if made permanent. They also underestimate the cost of expanded healthcare subsidies at $74 billion by phasing them out in 2025 or 2026. CBO says the real cost is $220 billion,” The Journal said.

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“And don’t forget the spending after 10 years once the subsidies for all of these new programs become embedded in American behavior. This is the main purpose of making these programs into entitlements—to make people more dependent on government from cradle to grave,” it said.

Swagwell’s letter’ on the CBO website says that the Build Back Better bill would increase the deficit but a staggering $3 trillion over a decade with all of its entitlements.

Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Charles Schumer were furious by this assessment, insisting that the bill is “fully paid for.”

And that is what The Journal dubbed the “Lie Of The Year.”

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The Journal called on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and other Democrats who are skeptical of the bill, like Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, to “call the whole thing off.”

“If this bill passes, they’ll own all of the deficits, debt and inflation that result,” it said.

Manchin is set to talk to President Biden about the bill this week in another attempt for the president to pressure the senator to see things his way. But Manchin and others now have the numbers to support their stance on nixing it.

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