This is a very typical Washington gimmick, often used by Democrats, but rarely explained by Republicans. Probably because they don’t mind the spending as much as they claim.
Spending bills are usually priced out over ten years. So guess what? Price them out over five years, and they cost less! Technically, they are then supposed to end then. But everyone knows a spending program is a zombie that never dies.
Democrats aren’t even bothering to hide it this time.
As the Wall Street Journal notes:
Progressives are finally admitting they’ll have to trim the top-line cost of their reconciliation bill to a number closer to Sen. Joe Manchin’s ceiling of $1.5 trillion. But reality still hasn’t sunk in enough that they’re willing to kill any new entitlement programs.
Their thinking was on display in force on Sunday. Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal told CNN that the left is focused on “what is the way that we can get all of the critical programs that we had identified [child care, paid leave] . . . but perhaps for a shorter period of time, and be able to get then to the number from that.”
California Rep. Ro Khanna told Fox News that Democrats are looking to simply “front-load the benefits and have less years.”
Added New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on CBS’s “Face the Nation”: “Washington math is notoriously funny . . . You can make a one-trillion-dollar bill into two trillion.” She explained: “I think that one of the ideas that is out there is fully fund what we can fully fund, but maybe instead of doing it for 10 years, you fully fund it for five years.”
Progressives know that entitlements, once created, are almost impossible to repeal. The real sticker shock will come later, after the programs are on autopilot.