5 of the worst GOP arguments against Biden's 'Build Back Better' plan


Every Republican in Congress opposes President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion investment plan to improve social welfare.

President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats are working to finalize legislation to implement the Build Back Better agenda. Republicans, who unanimously oppose the $3.5 trillion framework, are relying on several false claims to attack the legislation.

The GOP's previous attacks on the plan — which would invest billions in clean energy, climate change, child care, health care, paid leave, and free community college and preschool — as "socialism" have failed to convince voters. Polls show it is widely popular with voters.

In recent days, Republicans have taken to using a series of false arguments against the package. They include:

It will add trillions to the debt.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune accused Democrats of "trying to add trillions of dollars to the debt with more partisan spending" last Thursday.

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe charged they were attempting to "add trillions of dollars to our national debt and cause inflation to skyrocket."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy baselessly claimed on Monday on Fox News that the Democrats' $3.5 trillion proposal coupled with the $550 billion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would add $5 trillion to the national debt.

But the Build Back Better package will be paid for by raising taxes on those making more than $400,000 and on corporations. "It adds zero dollars to the national debt," Biden tweeted on Saturday. Even Republicans have acknowledged this, calling it the "largest tax increase in American history."

It will raise taxes on middle-class Americans.

"Tonight I'll be offering a motion demanding Democrats reveal how their spending spree would: Worsen inflation. Add to our debt. Raise taxes on middle class families," tweeted Rep. Randy Feenstra of Iowa on Saturday.

"Democrats will raise taxes on the middle class, small businesses, reversing benefits of TCJA," the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Texas Rep. Kevin Brady wrote in a Sept. 14 "fact check."

But an analysis published that same day by Congress' nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found just the opposite. Under the Build Back Better plan, federal taxes would be cut for Americans in every income category under $200,000 a year.

It will be a big tax cut for the rich.

"As America faces its WORST economic & inflation crisis in years, @JoeBiden and Congressional Democrats are using the 'Tax the Rich' gambit as a smokescreen," tweeted Georgia Rep. Drew Ferguson on Tuesday. "Their real plan is to raise taxes on hardworking Americans while providing tax shelters to millionaires. True hypocrisy."

A day earlier, McCarthy (R-CA) argued that tax credits intended to encourage electric cars and reduced fossil fuel consumption could save rich people money too. "Say a family makes $800,000 dollars a year—they could be eligible for $118,000 dollars in tax loopholes," he predicted.

But on balance, rich families will pay more. The same Joint Committee on Taxation analysis found that taxes would rise for higher-income families and those earning $1 million or more would see an estimated tax increase of 10.6% under the plan.

It will make poor people too dependent on the government.

McCarthy also cautioned Monday that passage of the package would lead to never-ending government dependency. "Democrats want to spend trillions and trillions of your money to create programs that will never expire and make millions of Americans dependent on the federal government—from cradle to grave," he wrote.

"The Dems' $3.5 trillion tax and spending bill will guarantee that the working poor are beholden to their party politics," echoed Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona. "The left's transfer payment model will completely stagnate the worth of the working poor's future prospects and ensure that they're reliant on the government."

But the plan is designed to make it easier for people to work. By lowering the costs of child care, providing workforce training, and ensuring paid family and medical leave, the investments will enable many people to join or return to the workforce.

It will kill jobs.

Last Monday, Brady told the Washington Examiner that the investment plan was like "Godzilla" and was the "most dangerous" he had ever seen. "Never has our government wasted so much money to kill so many American jobs," he said.

But days before, the progressive Economic Policy Institute released a report analyzing the impacts of the infrastructure package and the Build Back Better plan. It found the bills would "provide fiscal support for more than 4 million jobs per year, on average, over the course of the 10-year budgeting window, through direct spending and increased indirect demand in related industries." About 3.2 million of those jobs would come from the $3.5 trillion investment package.

Some of the GOP's attacks are simply bizarre.

Texas Rep. Troy Nehls tweeted Monday, "Joe Biden's reckless spending spree, if measured in one dollar bills stacked on top of each other, could literally reach the moon and a third of the way back."

While it's unclear why spending would be measured in dollar bill length, the $4.7 trillion Nehls measured is less than the nearly $8 trillion former President Donald Trump added to the national debt over his term in office.

Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson, meanwhile, suggested that the package might literally be deadly.

"It's not just more free stuff for more people, or even that plus a giant tax bill. This amounts to budgetary fentanyl. Drugs are bad, but laced with fentanyl they’ll kill you," he wrote Tuesday. "When they said 'fundamentally remake America' they meant it."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.