President Biden and fellow Democrats claim Americans’ urgent needs oblige them to ram through $1.9 trillion in new spending rather than accept a much-smaller compromise offer. In reality, this is about the Dems’ own policy and patronage goals.
For starters, the nation has no need for any new “stimulus.” Much of the $2.9 trillion from last spring’s CARES Act has yet to be spent — to say nothing of the $900 billion more that Congress OK’d barely a month ago. Indeed, more than 80 percent of that new money has yet to get out the door.
Plus, on Monday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected robust 4.6 percent growth for this year, with the nation hitting its pre-pandemic economic level by summer — without any new spending.
Duh: With the vaccine rolling out, the nation’s savings rate double from pre-COVID days and Americans stir-crazy from lockdowns, consumer spending is set to soar on its own.
Meanwhile, the package Biden & Co. are antsy to rush through is largely geared to appeasing their party’s left. In addition to $1,400-per-person checks, many to people who don’t really need it, and a $400-a-week unemployment bonus that will weaken the incentive to return to work, the plan includes:
- $350 billion to bail out blue states.
- $130 billion to schools, even if they remain closed (a gift to teachers’ unions that have blocked reopenings).
- $35 billion to public and historically black colleges.
- $190 billion in (potentially unconstitutional) funds for minority-owned small businesses.
The plan also contains several measures wholly unrelated to the pandemic, such as a $15-an-hour nationwide minimum wage and paid parental leave that will clobber struggling businesses.
Democratic leaders know such a monstrosity could never pass Congress in the normal way, so they mean to use the reconciliation process (which sidesteps the Senate filibuster rules) to ram it through. But that still needs the votes of not-sold Democratic senators such as Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.). Hence the bid to strong-arm the pair by having Vice President Kamala Harris blindside them with TV interviews in their states to promote the plan.
In short, all Biden’s talk of unity was pure baloney. Indeed, White House press secretary Jen Psaki explained that Biden-style “bipartisanship” means Republicans just get behind the Dems’ package. Ha!
It’s up to Manchin and other moderates, including in the House, to tell Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to quit these games and stop trying to exploit the pandemic for the left’s benefit.
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