$3.5 Trillion Is a Phony Number

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Budget tricks disguise the true cost of Biden’s vast entitlement plans.

Democrats are grasping for ways to finance their cradle-to-grave welfare state, with the left demanding what they claim is $3.5 trillion over 10 years. The truth is that even that gargantuan number hides the real cost of their plans.

The bills moving through committees are full of delayed starts, phony phase-outs, and cost shifting to states designed to fit $3.5 trillion into a 10-year budget window that can pass with a mere 51 Senate votes. Even if the bill shrinks to $2 trillion or less, the real costs will be far greater. Behold one of the greatest fiscal cons in history.

Start with a child allowance which is among the bill’s most expensive provisions. Extending the $3,000 to $3,600 per child payments for a decade would cost roughly 1.1 trillion dollars. That’s as much as all of the income tax increases on individuals passed by the house Ways and Means Committee. Democrats have hidden the real cost by extending the allowance only through 2025. Even if Republicans gain control of Congress and the White House in 2024, Democrats and their media allies will bludgeon them to extend the payment which will cost another 110 billion dollars each year. The GOP will be accused of raising taxes on middle-class families.

Democrats are using a different time shift to disguise the cost of their Medicare expansion. New vision and hearing benefits would kick in over the next two years and cost about 20 billion dollars a year. But Democrats are delaying the phasein of the much more expensive dental benefit to 2028. This saves 420 billion dollars over 10 years, but the costs explode after that.

By The Editorial Board

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