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The True Cost of BBB

I read the "The true cost of Biden's agenda" in Sunday's December 19th Chronicle and thought: How can anyone complain that the Chronicle presents only liberal viewpoints. This article is from Byron York, who is the chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner, a conservative newspaper.

York presents the typical conservative viewpoint that the Build Back Better Act (BBB), that passed in the House (H.R. 5376) and is now before the Senate, is vastly expensive, citing that "last month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis that BBB would add $367 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years."

York went on to say, "under real-world conditions – that is, if it is ultimately extended for a decade, the way Democrats want – will add not $367 billion to the deficit but $3 trillion." And this $3 trillion figure is being promulgated throughout conservative media, especially Fox News.

The truth is CBO's estimate for H.R. 5376 was $158 billion added to the deficit; not $367 billion as York would lead us to believe. Deficits (or surpluses) are determined by the difference between BOTH expenses ($365 billion, per CBO) and revenue ($207 billion from IRS tax enforcement, per CBO). By simply ignoring the revenue side, York is being disingenuous.

So, where did the $3 trillion figure come from? It comes from York's assumption that certain portions of the Act would be extended for 10 years. Specifically, the child tax credit, childcare, preschool subsidies, and the earned income tax credit. These are provisions in the bill that would help both the middle-class and the poor.

Again, York is misleading us with this assumption. Why? Congress passed a budget resolution that set a ceiling on how much, if any, a bill like Build Back Better could add to the deficit. To exceed the ceiling would require a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate. That's not likely to occur, unless Congress could offset the cost through tax revenues (taxing the rich and large corporations a slight amount) and/or adjusting our annual budget (52 percent of our budget currently goes toward defense).

Wouldn't it be nice if we could help the little guy for once? This is what the BBB is trying to accomplish.

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Bill Cohen
Bill Cohen
Dec 22, 2021

Thanks to Ron Berg for writing these informative letters and for also submitting them to the Citrus Chronicel for community wide exposure. One question regarding how we may critize "Lord " Byron York's penchant for basing an editorial on false information. Do we have to be relgated to saying he is "being disingenious" or should we be saying he is lying; lying to the readers and that it is OK with the publisher to present lies in a prominently positioned Sunday editorial?

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