November 19, 2021
Op-Ed: Build Back Better Is a Poor Policy Built on a Shaky Fiscal Foundation
With the House of Representatives voting for passage, there is finally a single, concrete piece of legislation that is the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) — at least until the Senate gets in on the act. In an op-ed for The Hill, AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin explains the problems with the BBBA, a bill deeply flawed in its topline scale, year-to-year timing, and provision-by-provision details.
With the publication of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate or “score,” there is a lot more clarity about some key policy issues:
- It is not fully paid for, despite continuous assurances to the contrary by the White House and Democrats on the Hill;
- If the new entitlements are made permanent — as the crafters of BBBA truly envision — it will build a staggering new $2.9 trillion additional structural deficit into an already daunting fiscal outlook;
- The BBBA is front-loaded on new spending and tax cuts, back-loaded on pay-fors, and as a result, a continued push on inflation pressures in 2022; and
- The BBBA is riddled with design errors that undercut its drafters’ intentions.