The Real Cost of “Build Back Better”

Posted On Nov 22, 2021 By Addison Wiggin

For better or worse, we wrote two books on government spending and the attitudes that accommodate it. Bill Bonner takes a shot at explaining what Build Back Better’s backers are leaving out. “They say things like, ‘This tax provision will expire’ or ‘This spending thing will expire after a couple of years,’” Bill says with customary aplomb. “They take the most favorable look at these things in order to get the numbers down.” The problem is that these provisions never go away. “You can give people stuff, but it’s very hard to take it away.” If the “temporary” stuff becomes permanent, Build Back Better’s costs skyrocket. “The Penn Wharton model says that this bill is not $1.5 trillion. It’s not two trillion,” Bill says. “It’s $4.6 trillion.” The Committee for a Responsible Budget — “which always sounds a little bit oxymoronic to me,” Bill quips — says the final number will come out somewhere close to $4.9 trillion.

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