Reported by ANDERS HAGSTROM | WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT | November 15, 2021
President Joe Biden’s administration is facing a daunting reality check after claiming for months that their spending agenda will “cost zero dollars,” with the head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) saying the White House drastically overestimated the revenue the IRS could gain by cracking down on tax loopholes. Biden and numerous other senior Democrats in the White House and on Capitol Hill have repeatedly insisted that their $1.85 trillion social spending package will add nothing to the national debt. They argued the package included enough pay-fors to offset the spending programs. CBO chief Phillip Swagel brought that claim down on Monday, however, saying that the tax loophole crackdown in the bill would only garner $120 billion, a far cry from the White House’s projected $400 billion, according to The New York Times.
The CBO, which is a non-partisan organization, is set to release its official report Friday. The White House is shoring up support and urging lawmakers to disregard the report ahead of its release.
“In this one case, I think we’ve made a very strong empirical case for CBO not having an accurate score,” Ben Harris, assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department, told the NYT. “The question is would they rather go with CBO knowing CBO is wrong, or would they want to target the best information they could possibly have?”
Republicans have also attacked the portions of the bill devoted to beefing up the IRS.
“The IRS will double in size. It will be more involved in the day to day lives of every American,” Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly said in late October. “And the result will be an invasion of privacy and the heavy hand of the government squeezing out smaller, more local businesses.“
Republican members of Congress have mocked the White House’s claim for months as “completely false,” and saying the president is “confused.”