Latest bogus WH spin: Biden's $3.5 trillion plan costs nothing

Let’s for a moment put this aside and assume that Democrats will find enough taxes to raise to offset all of the new spending. It still does not mean legislation is cost free as it will certainly cost money to the individuals and businesses who would have to pay higher taxes. Also, as I wrote in more detail a few months ago, just because the government raises taxes enough to finance new spending, it doesn’t mean that the new spending has no fiscal impact. Any time the government raises taxes to pay for newly-passed spending it taps revenue sources that are no longer available to meet existing obligations. Increasing spending, in every circumstance, increases the burden on government.

Some liberals have been complaining for months that when the Republican tax bill was being described, it was always from the perspective of net cost. The reason why that when discussing significant changes to one side of the ledger (in that case, revenue) it makes perfect sense to discuss what the net effects would be. So if Democrats were planning to offset the new $3.5 trillion by cutting $3.5 trillion from elsewhere in the budget, they would have a much better case. But they aren’t, they are talking about imposing higher costs on taxpayers, and saying something is cost free.

The White House formulation — that the tax hikes involve “tax giveaways” — is an effort to make tax cuts and spending into the same thing categorically. But unless we’re talking about actual “giveaways” (such as tax credits that can exceed a person’s actual tax obligations), tax cuts merely allow people to keep more of their earned income. To suggest reducing tax rates amounts to a “giveaway” is a fundamentally authoritarian perspective, that views all money as the property of the federal government by default, with every dollar untaxed dollar treated as a government transfer payment.