by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In the second installment of news the Biden administration didn’t want to hear about Friday (the first being the record-breaking inflation report), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis of making permanent the programs in Democrats’ Build Back Bankrupt spending spree.
Democrats immediately claimed the bill they want to pass through Congress doesn’t resemble the CBO’s parameters in the slightest. In that case, Republicans should respond by bringing a legislative proposal resembling those parameters to the Senate floor, and forcing Democrats to vote against it.
The analysis, conducted at the request of congressional Republicans, examined 19 separate policies included in the House-passed bill. The Republicans asked CBO to provide the costs of extending all the programs for the entire ten-year budget window—and the results proved shocking.
Making those 19 programs permanent raised their ten-year cost from approximately $891 billion over the decade to nearly $3.5 trillion, a four-fold increase. The costliest policy, a larger child welfare subsidy, went from a $185 billion cost for a one-year extension in the bill to $1.6 trillion over a decade. In short, the analysis exposed the inherently gimmicky nature of using permanent tax increases to pass temporary increases in spending.
Make no mistake: Democrats do want to make those programs permanent—most of them, anyway. Perhaps they would let some of the smaller programs included in the CBO analysis, such as greater insurance subsidies for the unemployed, expire as scheduled in the bill. But they will definitely seek to make the biggest programs—the child welfare subsidy, “free” federalized child care and preschool, Obamacare subsidies, and home health care—permanent. …
… If Democrats want to make all, or even most, of these programs permanent, why are they creating them on a temporary basis, in several cases for as little as one year?