Reporter Asks Psaki if Biden Admin Acknowledges That the Spending Bill Is 'Not Simply a Free Lunch'


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is admitting that President Joe Biden’s agenda will cost wealthier Americans and businesses more in taxes.

On Tuesday, a reporter asked Psaki, “Do you guys acknowledge the sort of broader truth that it does cost somebody? Right? The cost of the investments the president wants to make, they’re not simply a free lunch, right?”

He continued, “Whether they’re going to cost people who smoke cigarettes, or they’re going to cost business people, or they’re going to cost companies, or they’re going to cost rich people. The cost of what the president wants to do over the course of the next decade and beyond falls on somebody, right?”

“But there’s a clear difference between what we’re talking about as it relates to taxpayer funds, right? Or funding that will lead to our debt, right? Which I know a lot of Republicans are supposedly concerned about,” Psaki responded. “And asking businesses, 50 of the top companies last year in 2020 paid not a dollar in taxes, a lot of high-income individuals pay lower tax rates than nurses and teachers.”

Finally, she said, “Nobody thinks that’s fair. Yes, we’re asking them to pay more. Yes, so it will cost them more.”

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On Saturday, Biden tweeted, “My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars.”

“Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America,” he continued. “And it adds zero dollars to the national debt.”

Do you think Biden's plan will cost somebody?

And speaking to reporters on Friday, he said, “It is zero price tag on the debt we’re paying. We’re going to pay for everything we spend.”

While Biden’s use of the word “cost” appears to be a short-hand way of claiming his plan will not add to the federal deficit, Republicans criticized the president for his claim.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tweeted, “Biden thinks his $3.5 trillion reckless spending plan ‘costs zero dollars’?”

“He is very confused,” he added.

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Still, while Biden claims his plan will be paid for and not add to the debt, The Washington Post’s fact-checker said his statement is “misleading” as “we’re pretty certain a deficit score of zero would only be accomplished with some dubious gimmicks that help disguise the true cost of Biden’s agenda.”

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