The Morning Jolt

Economy & Business

The CBO Confirms Biden Lied

President Joe Biden celebrates with lawmakers, including ‪House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), before signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, D.C., November 15, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

On the menu today: The Congressional Budget Office declares that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are wrong and that my colleagues are right; updated numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show that in the past fiscal year, the U.S. Border Patrol encountered 1,662,167 unlawful border crossers — roughly double the total for the fiscal year preceding the pandemic and four times the total for the fiscal year coinciding with the pandemic; and the country needs less common-sense gun control and more common-sense gun-wielding-prosecutor control.

CBO Estimate on Build Back Better: Biden, Pelosi, and the Democrats Lied to You

For much of the fall, Joe Biden, members of his administration, and congressional Democratic leaders such as Nancy Pelosi have insisted that the Build Back Better bill “costs nothing.” You heard counter-arguments that the bill costs a lot more than nothing from many, many conservatives and Republicans — including Rich Lowry, Phil Klein, David Harsanyi, Dan McLaughlin, Charlie Cooke, and the Editors.

Now, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has declared that Biden, Ron Klain, and Nancy Pelosi are wrong and that my colleagues are correct:

The director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that the I.R.S. proposal would yield far less than what the White House was counting on to help pay for its bill — about $120 billion over a decade versus the $400 billion that the administration is counting on.

A formal tally is expected to be released on Friday, but the projection by Phillip Swagel, who heads the budget office, could pose another setback for Mr. Biden’s domestic policy legislation, which is already facing steep hurdles in the House and Senate.

The White House has begun bracing lawmakers for a disappointing estimate from the budget office, which is likely to find that the cost of the overall package will not be fully paid for with new tax revenue over the coming decade. Senior administration officials are urging lawmakers to disregard the budget office assessment, saying it is being overly conservative in its calculations, failing to properly credit the return on investment of additional I.R.S. resources and overlooking the deterrent effects that a more aggressive tax collection agency would have on tax cheats.

For much of the fall, Joe Biden, members of his administration, and congressional Democrats lied to you. They lied to you because they think you’re stupid. They lied to you because they think you can’t do math and you don’t understand taxes, government spending, or debt. They lied to you because they believe that you don’t want to think too hard about all of those numbers, that you just want to get more free stuff from the government, and that you’ll believe somebody else will pay for it.

They lied to you because they think you believe that the government can borrow as much as it wants, for as long as it wants, without consequence. They think you won’t notice or care that the U.S. government spent $562,388,232,682.17 — that’s more than $562 billion dollars — on interest payments for the debt in fiscal year 2021. The good news is that federal tax revenue was more than $4 trillion in fiscal year 2021. The bad news is that 14 percent of all of that federal tax revenue had to be used to pay down what we owe. Every dollar we use to pay down past debt is a dollar we can’t spend on other stuff we need or want right now. And every dollar we borrow now is another dollar we will have to pay back later — limiting our ability to spend money on priorities down the road.

Under Biden, U.S. Border Patrol Is Encountering Twice as Many Migrants as before the Pandemic

In fiscal year 2017 — meaning the year starting on October 1, 2016, and ending on September 30, 2017 — the U.S. Border Patrol encountered 310,531 people attempting to cross into the country. That was the first year Donald Trump was in office, and it is likely that many migrants believed the U.S. had a less welcoming and more hostile response to those attempting to cross the border. But migrants gradually overcame their trepidation related to the new administration. The following fiscal year, that number increased to 404,142. The following fiscal year after that, 2019, the number jumped to 859,501. Then the pandemic hit midway through fiscal year 2020, and it dropped back down to 405,036.

Then in fiscal year 2021 — the first year that Joe Biden was in office and setting immigration enforcement policies, starting in January — the U.S. Border Patrol encountered 1,662,167 people — roughly double the pre-pandemic total and four times the pandemic-year total.

In the month of October, the U.S. Border Patrol encountered 186,672 people — meaning the pace of fiscal year 2021 is continuing.

These numbers are for all attempts to enter the country at any border. At the southwest border with Mexico, the Border Patrol has encountered at least 170,000 people per month every month from March to September, peaking with July’s 213,000 and only declining to 164,000 in October. Keep that in mind when you read New York Times headlines touting, “Unauthorized Migration Across the Mexico-U.S. Border Slips.” Yes, the monthly sum is down from the peak, but it is well above the 2020 numbers — which were probably unusually low because of the global pandemic — and also well above the 80,000-per-month average for 2019.

Migrants continue to come in massive numbers in part because when a Biden administration official such as Vice President Kamala Harris says “Do not come,” they do not believe she means it. The migrants have heard too many pieces of contrary information — from family members who have already made it, from the rumor mill, from the coyotes offering to take them into the U.S. for a fee. And they have heard President Biden pledge to create a path to citizenship for those who are in the country illegally. Illegal immigrants also hear about decisions such as the Biden administration’s prohibiting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from conducting worksite raids for illegal aliens. Meanwhile, House Democrats are proposing “grant[ing] immigration parole to illegals here since 2011, providing them work permits, Social Security numbers, and driver’s licenses, and everything that flows from that — effectively, a ‘DACA-for-All’ program.”

The Biden administration says, “Do not come,” but the administration and its allies also simultaneously say that if you make it, you will be rewarded.

Is it any wonder that migrants keep coming, then?

Guns Don’t Kill People — District Attorneys with Their Fingers on the Trigger Kill People

Forget “common-sense gun control.” America needs “common-sense gun-wielding-prosecutor control.” Former FBI agent James Gagliano lays it out in the New York Post:

And in a trial whereby the defendant is being accused of reckless actions, Binger committed his own while attempting to act out Rittenhouse’s actions with his rifle. With the recent accidental shooting on a movie set in New Mexico still fresh on our minds, Binger sweeps the courtroom spectator section with the weapon and incredulously breaks firearms handling safety rule number one — never place your finger on the trigger unless and until you have acquired a target you may have to neutralize. Yet another example of those prosecuting gun crimes with little understanding of guns.

If only the prosecutor had kept his finger off the trigger until he intended to fire, like, er . . . Kyle Rittenhouse.

ADDENDUM: You know who’s having a good week? Texas governor Greg Abbott.


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