Wharton Study: Build Back Better Will Not Be Free; Net Cost $2.42 Trillion

US President Joe Biden gestures after delivering remarks following a tour at the Clayco construction site in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, October 7, 2021. - Biden traveled to Chicago to promote the importance of Covid-19 vaccine requirements for all workers. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will reportedly issue a study Wednesday that reveals President Joe Biden’s reconciliation package will not be free, although the White House has claimed it would cost “zero” dollars.

The study reportedly estimates the net cost of the legislation will plague taxpayers with an extra $2.42 trillion in debt.

Punchbowl News reported if the package’s provisions became permanent, it “would increase new spending by $3.98 trillion,” and American taxpayers would incur $1.56 trillion in new taxes.

Within a ten-year window, the package is expected to cost the taxpayers $1.87 trillion with an additional $1.56 trillion in taxes levied on American workers and families.

The estimate of Biden’s package is likely to turn the heads of lawmakers, some of whom are pushing for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to score the legislation before a vote is held on the measure this week.

“Moderate” Democrats are particularly interested in the scoring of the legislation. Members of Blue Dog Coalition have requested a hold on the passage of the legislation “until we have had a chance to review these scores which provide the true cost of the legislation.”

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), who is facing a tough reelection race in 2022, has many concerns she relayed Wednesday. “I believe that we need to take a vote on the infrastructure bill as soon as possible. And I think when it comes to the BBB, we need to have some time to be able to review it — the CBO and JCT tables — to understand how much spending and how much revenue is in the package,” she wrote.

“And there needs to be some level of understanding as to whether or not this bill as written can survive the Senate procedural process,” she added.

Despite the Wharton study, the White House has claimed multiple times the legislation will cost nothing.


On September 28, the Washington Post reported Biden claimed his package would cost zero dollars. “We talk about price tags. It is zero price tag on the debt. We’re paying — we’re going to pay for everything we spend,” Biden said:

In October, a reporter finally questioned the White House about Biden’s claim.”Does the president still believe that Build Back Better will not add a dime to the national debt?” the reporter asked Psaki in a briefing.

“Correct. It won’t,” Psaki claimed.

“Why should Americans believe that?” the reporter asked.

“Because it won’t,” Psaki said flatly.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.


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