The Resurgence of the Build Back Better Act is Inevitable | Citizens Against Government Waste

The Resurgence of the Build Back Better Act is Inevitable

The WasteWatcher

With the new year upon us, the Build Back Better Act (BBBA), which some thought was left for dead at the end of 2021, is likely to be revived and considered in some form by the Senate.

The bill was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 220-213 on November 19, 2021.  At that time, the bill was estimated to cost $1.75 trillion.  It was not brought to the floor of the Senate after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he could not support the legislation as passed by the House.  One of the biggest reasons for his objection was the price tag that was put on the bill by the Congressional Budget Office after it determined that the full 10-year cost if all provisions were extended for that period of time would be $4.9 trillion, and $3 trillion would be added to the national debt. 

But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he intends to bring up the House version of the bill until it passes, and Sen. Manchin has indicated he may support parts of the bill, while also suggesting that it all go through regular order with Senate committee hearings and markup.  The problem with Leader Schumer’s idea is that only one bill can be considered under reconciliation, which requires a majority of the Senate (50 Democrats plus Vice President Harris).  And the longer the bill is delayed, the more midterm elections come into consideration for Democratic senators up for re-election in November. 

The BBBA is full of regressive taxes and big-government solutions to government-created problems.  The $8 billion tax on methane will substantially raise natural gas prices on top of already staggering increases in energy costs from inflation.  The nicotine taxes will dramatically increase the price of tobacco harm reduction products and fail to discourage people from smoking cigarettes.  Both taxes will disproportionately hurt lower-income Americans.

A December 15, 2021, Penn Wharton Budget Model found that inflation in 2021 caused U.S. families to spend $3,500 more on household goods than they spent in 2019 or 2020.  Lower-income families were impacted the most, paying 7 percent more, while higher-income earners spent 6 percent more.  Inflation has hit the American people hard, in large part due to the prior COVID-10 “relief” bills, especially the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act.

The BBBA will exacerbate this problem and further push the nation and the American people into debt.  The tax measures in the bill are detrimental to businesses and the pocketbooks of Americans.  And the bill is a trojan horse full of big government policies that will begin to transform the United States into a socialist country. 

One such policy is Medicaid expansion in the 12 holdout states that have forgone opting in to Medicaid expansion.  The bill includes a three-year fix that leaves state budgets to cover the cost after 2025.  This wolf in sheep’s clothing is one major step closer to forcing the states to accept government control of their healthcare policies.  

For example, Georgia is one of 12 states that have yet to opt into Medicaid expansion.  The state proposed a work requirement of 80 hours of work or volunteering per month for Medicaid recipients.  The idea is to get people off government assistance and back into the workforce, leaving the taxpayers’ resources for those who truly need help. The Biden administration rejected this proposal on December 23, 2021.  

Government price controls are another dangerous provision of the BBBA.  History shows price controls never work and have lethal consequences.  These price controls will leave less money for research and development if implemented, resulting in 135 fewer future cures.  This devastating decline in future drug development could cause the loss of 331.5 million life years in the U.S., a figure equal to the entire population. 

The BBBA completely misses the mark on real issues Americans face, like how they will heat their home and feed their families as they grapple with the consequences of inflation.  Rather than adding fuel to this fire, Congress should focus on tax reform and allow the American people to keep more of their hard-earned money, rather than wasting more of it on unnecessary and ineffective policies and programs.

A new year is a popular time for people to make resolutions like losing weight or building better financial habits.  The federal government should make a resolution to go on a fiscal diet and improve its financial practices.  The first step would be to reject the $4.9 trillion BBBA, which includes $550 billion for climate change, and extra $4,500 tax break for buying electric cars made in union shops, and $200 million for Presidio Park in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) district. 

There is no certainty as to whether Congress will come to an agreement on the BBBA.  What is clear is that President Biden and the Democratic majority in Congress remain focused on enacting policies that will radically increase the size, scope, and power of the federal government, while impeding Americans’ freedom and liberty and moving the nation closer to becoming a socialist country.


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