The "Build Back Better" bill is a “social safety net" bill in the parlance of the media. It was a “social safety net and climate” bill when the House passed it.

What is this "social safety net" the bill is building?

Well, let’s read the bill. Subtitle G is the part of the bill Democrats titled “Social Safety Net.”

Part 1 would extend the temporarily expanded child tax credit — the monthly payments to most parents. This isn’t exactly a “safety net” provision by most understandings of the word because it goes to almost all parents, including fairly wealthy ones.

Part 2 extends the expanded earned income tax credit for childless workers, and the next few sections involve healthcare and college finance. Then comes the final section of the “Social Safety Net” subtitle: “Deduction for State and Local Taxes, etc.”

Yes, a massive tax break for the rich is a major part of the Democrats’ “social safety net.”

And it’s not a small part of their “safety net.”

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

See the above chart from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The third-largest budget item in this bill is the provision increasing the tax deduction for high-income families in high-tax areas. Currently, the minority of taxpayers who itemize their deductions, generally high earners, can deduct $10,000 of their state and local taxes, abbreviated as SALT. The Democrats are upset that wealthy New Yorkers can’t deduct more than $10,000, so they inserted a provision into Build Back Better that expands that deduction.

As CRFB put it, “A household making $500,000 per year would receive a tax cut from SALT relief approximately 6.5 times as large than the benefit a middle-class family might receive from extension of the expanded [child tax credit].”

Here’s the chart comparing the relative size of these two “social safety net” provisions.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Expanding the SALT deduction, as you see, mostly helps rich people. So next time Democrats talk about their support for the social safety net, recall that they mean tax breaks that only go to the wealthy.