Opinion: The Democrat Playbook — Be disingenuous on the timeline for entitlement legislation

Roger Stark of the Washington Policy Center shares that the bill, as passed by the U.S. House and sent to the Senate, would allegedly cost somewhere between $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion.

Roger Stark of the Washington Policy Center shares that the bill, as passed by the U.S. House and sent to the Senate, would allegedly cost somewhere between $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion

Roger Stark
Washington Policy Center

As of yesterday (Dec. 15), a vote in the U.S. Senate on the Build Back Better bill may be on hold until after the first of the new year. Thank you Senator Manchin.

Roger Stark
Roger Stark

The bill, as passed by the U.S. House and sent to the Senate, would allegedly cost somewhere between $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion. Democrats claim this would all be paid for with increased taxes on corporations and the “rich” over the next ten years.

So what’s the problem with the Senate and what’s holding up the vote. The problem is the old Democrat ploy. They write legislation that has a longer timeline for the taxes to pay for the legislation and a shortened timeline for the duration of the entitlements. And entitlements never go away. Once started they remain indefinitely – and Democrats know this. Pass the bill and let entitlement-nature take its course.

As written, the bill states that: (here)

  • The child tax credit would end in 2022
  • Raising the limit on state and local tax deductions would end in 2025
  • Health care subsidies would end in 2026
  • Child care and pre-school subsidies would end in 2027

Opponents of the bill asked the Congressional Budget Office to score the legislation as if all the entitlements lasted for ten years. The CBO found that the bill would add at least $367 billion each year to the federal deficit over the next decade. (here) In other words, the federal debt would increase by over $3 trillion in the next ten years.

We’ve seen this Democrat movie before. Obamacare became law in 2010, with only Democrat votes. The original cost was estimated to be $940 billion over the first ten years. Taxes to pay for it began in 2010, but the benefits of expanded Medicaid and subsidies in the health insurance exchanges didn’t begin until 2014. In other words, the budget for the first decade of the entitlement was based on ten years of revenue but only six years of benefits. For the decade starting in 2014, the budget and cost exploded to at least $1.7 trillion.

Even if you believe the Build Back Better legislation is paid for as written, there is no way that the entitlements won’t continue indefinitely – at a huge increase in the federal debt. And Democrats know this.

Roger Stark is a senior fellow of the Center for Health Care at the Washington Policy Center.

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