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Stephen Moore: Pelosi Can't Add

Our friend economist and political commentator Stephen Moore has a great column in that latest edition of his Committee to Unleash Prosperity Hotline. BTW, this is a must-read

publication, it’s free and we highly recommend subscribing.


As we explained in our recent column “Pelosi’s Big Lie” the dirty little secret about the Democrats’ reconciliation bill all the Capitol Hill insiders know, but none of them will acknowledge is they have no idea how much it will cost, even under the bent rules Democrats will demand be used to account for the taxes and spending in the bill, because the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t even scored the bill yet.


That means that when Pelosi told reporters about the progress of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion-plus spending bill and she stated with great confidence. "It's not about a dollar amount… The dollar amount, as the president said, is zero. This bill will be paid for,” she was lying.


And when Biden himself said that the bill is “going to cost nothing.” And when he said, “We pay for everything we spend, it’s going to be zero. Zero,” he was lying.


And when Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), a lead negotiator for Far-Left House progressive Democrats, told reporters they should not depict the measure as costing trillions of dollars when the accompanying proposed tax increases would cover the cost. “I just believe that this is going to be a zero-dollar-bill — that’s the No. 1 priority,” she was lying.


Now, what Steve Moore explained in Issue #388 of his Unleash Prosperity Hotline is how Democrats are going to lie to try to convince Americans the cost of the bill is less than it really is.


As Mr. Moore explained:


We’ve argued on these pages for many weeks that the Stalinist policies that fill the 2,500 pages of the Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer Govzilla bill, are much more dangerous than its gargantuan price tag.


Now we learn that Speaker Pelosi and her pals in the Progressive Caucus are in full agreement with us. They’ve decided to use a scheme of counting only five years of the bill’s cost not the normal 10-year score. This shrinks the price tag of the bill from $3.5 trillion to $2 trillion in order to placate Democrat Senators Sinema and Manchin.


It’s blatant phony-baloney bookkeeping, and even Pelosi admitted it yesterday: “We will not diminish the transformative nature of [the bill]…” They will reduce the reported cost of the bill “mostly by cutting back on the years” the spending is authorized.


This is like a university president telling parents that the tuition for a degree is only $75,000 – but that’s only the cost for the freshman and sophomore years.


This reminds us of the old joke about the accountant who is applying for a job and is asked in the interview with the CEO: “What is 2 plus 2?” And the accountant slyly answers: “What do you want it to be?”


We can only hope that Sens Manchin and Sinema fully reject this cynical budgeting ploy.


And they aren’t really being shy about their phony-baloney bookkeeping.


As Gregory Korte reported for Bloomberg, “One of the ideas out there is to fully fund what we can fully fund, but instead of funding it for 10 years, fund it for five years,” said Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat and leading progressive voice, explained on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”


And, reported Mr. Korte, the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus flatly rejected Senator Joe Manchin’s offer of $1.5 trillion in social spending.


“That’s not going to happen,” Representative Pramila Jayapal, the Washington State Democrat, told CNN’s “State of the Nation” on Sunday. “Because that’s too small to get our priorities in. So, it’s going to be somewhere between $1.5 and $3.5. And I think the White House is working on that right now, because, remember, what we want to deliver is child care, paid leave, climate change, housing.”


Now here’s the key admission to the phony-baloney accounting: Jayapal said reducing the length of time for authorizing that spending could provide a path forward. Federal budget rules tally spending in 10-year budget windows, so authorizing spending for only five years would significantly cut down the price tag.


Is phony-baloney accounting the same as lying? We think it is. The toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044), call today and tell your Representative to vote NO on Pelosi’s big lie.


  • Committee to Unleash Prosperity Hotline

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Costs Zero

  • $3.5 trillion Build Back Better

  • Joe Biden

  • Congressional Budget Office

  • CBO Director Phillip Swagel

  • CBO Estimates

  • Joe Manchin

  • Kyrsten Sinema

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