Ortiz: Build Back Better Bill Would Further Depress U.S. Labor Force Participation

out of work
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Alfredo Ortiz of Job Creators Network writes in The Hill that President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act would effectively shrink the already decimated labor force resulting from the pandemic because it offers welfare programs that make it more comfortable to stay home and collect a government check than to go to work.

There are still 4 million fewer people working today and nearly 5 million more people out of the labor force compared to February 2020. Biden repeatedly claims that he has presided over a record number of new jobs, but in reality he’s only been able to return a fraction of the jobs lost during the pandemic. President Biden and congressional Democrats’ nearly $5 trillion “Build Back Broke” legislation, currently pending before the Senate, would exacerbate this depressed labor force by expanding and implementing an array of social welfare programs that make it attractive not to work. This reckless spending would also spur more painful inflation, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday is already at a 39-year high

. . .

The Build Back Better Act (BBB), which passed the House of Representatives last month, would further reduce the LFPR by disincentivizing work. The legislation would extend the de facto monthly universal basic income for families. It would significantly expand rental assistance and public housing construction. It includes numerous public health provisions, including increasing ObamaCare marketplace subsidies and expanding Medicaid. It also would broaden food benefits for families, among other public assistance provisions. University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan estimates the BBB would reduce full-time equivalent employment by about 6 percent — nearly 9 million jobs.

These programs would be partly paid for by dramatic tax hikes on successful small businesses to some of the highest levels in the developed world. Even with these tax hikes, the legislation wouldn’t come close to paying for itself as Biden and top Democrats have promised. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the BBB would increase the deficit by $800 billion over five years.

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