After months of criticizing Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema for balking at the original $3.5 trillion price tag, congressional Democrats are finally accepting reality and paring President Biden’s social welfare package to between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion over the decade.
Does this mean they are responsibly removing the bill’s worst provisions and crafting fiscally sustainable legislation? Of course not!
Instead, welcome to the gimmick Olympics, where progressives are using classic accounting tricks to hide the true cost of the bill.
Instead of producing legislation that truly costs $2 trillion over the decade, lawmakers are crafting as much as $4 trillion worth of new initiatives, but simply using fake expiration dates to score only a few years of each proposal. The idea is to create new federal programs, hook the constituencies on new federal benefits, and then assume that future Congresses and presidents will not dare to allow them to expire. Those assumed extensions will then blow up the cost far above today’s $2 trillion sticker price.