The Build Back Better Act would cost $4.91 trillion, not $1.75 trillion as Democrats have claimed, according to a study released Monday.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget released their analysis of the Democrats’ reconciliation infrastructure bill, the Build Back Better Act.
Democrats initially scaled down the cost of the legislation from $3.5 to $1.75 to placate the concerns of moderate Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
However, it would appear that the Democrats’ marquee legislation uses policy sunsets and expirations to mask the official cost of the legislation.
The Committee explained:
The Build Back Better Act relies on a number of arbitrary sunsets and expirations to lower the official cost of the bill. These include extending the American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit (CTC) increase and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion for a year, setting universal pre-K and child care subsidies to expire after six years, making the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansions available through 2025, delaying the requirement that businesses amortize research and experimentation (R&E) costs until 2026, and setting several other provisions – from targeted tax credits to school lunch programs – to expire prematurely.
The Committee contended that if these policy sunsets were made permanent and other measures made permanent, it would add $2.5 trillion, making the total cost of the bill above $4.9 trillion.
This includes permanent extensions of the increase in the child tax credit (CTC), the state and local tax (SALT) relief, and the extension of increased Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies. the committee wrote:
The Build Back Better Act relies on a substantial amount of short-term policies and arbitrary sunsets to reduce its cost, raising the possibility of deficit-financed extensions in future years. A more robust and fiscally responsible package would not rely on these gimmicks to achieve deficit neutrality.
Manchin has raised concerns over how the bill could worsen Americans’ living standards amid soaring inflation.
“By all accounts, the threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not ‘transitory’ and is instead getting worse. From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real, and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day,” Manchin said last week.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.