Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Fully-Paid-For Spending Plan Probably Won’t Be Fully Paid For

The spending proposal is likely to be offset by gimmicks and rosy assumptions.

by Peter Suderman

Yesterday, Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee released the outline of a $3.5 trillion budget agreement. That’s $3.5 trillion in addition to the $2 trillion or so already spent at the beginning of the year on the recovery plan, and beyond the roughly $4 trillion spent last year on pandemic relief. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), of course, was disappointed: He’d been pushing for $6 trillion in new spending. Ah, well.

Those previous plans were all deficit financed. But although many of the details weren’t yet clear—the announcement was of a general framework and a top-line number—reports suggested that this plan would, somehow, be fully paid for, if only in the Washington sense.

Consider what it means for something to be fully paid for.

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