Penn Wharton Budget Model enjoys public lashings from both the Biden and Trump administrations

Erin Arvedlund, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Business News

Penn Wharton's estimate included IRS enforcement to reach its 10-year deficit of $274 billion. It didn't provide an estimate without IRS enforcement.

"I've worked with [Kent] and we've co-authored papers together. And it's a good sign that he's being abused by the White House no matter who is in power," said Laurence Kotlikoff, a Boston University economist and author of the new book Money Magic.

Trump didn't like Penn Wharton's estimates

The Penn Wharton team received similar lashings from the Trump administration for its analysis of his tax cuts in 2017, Smetters noted.

In 2017 Penn Wharton's model also differed somewhat from the Joint Committee on Taxation and the CBO, before the passage of Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Penn Wharton estimated a deficit approaching $2.1 trillion over a decade, creating a big math problem for the Republicans.


Smetters notes: "The JCT and CBO revised their economic forecast and technical assumptions after the law was passed and came up to our estimate."

War of words between Wharton and Trump White House (from March 2018)

The House on Friday passed the Build Back Better package and sent it to the Senate.

The bill would expand social programs like child care, universal pre-school, broadband and affordable housing. It would add $555 billion in climate change measures to encourage the purchase of electric cars, electric heat pumps, solar panels and wind farms. In health, the bill would give Medicare recipients a new hearing benefit and empower the government to negotiate prices on some prescription drugs.


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