My 2005 article entitled “Congressional Republicans Make French Socialists Look like Ronald Reagan” stated that spending is a problem. These were the days of fiscal prudence. However, as reckless as the Republicans are with our finances over time, Democrats of today appear determined to make the spending-hungry GOP look like Uncle Scrooge.
Recall: We are hopefully over the worst COVID-19 crisis. The country needs to focus its efforts on recovery and fully opening the economy. It is important that the government focuses on cutting back on emergency programs as well as reducing its deficit. This is not only the best thing for America, but it’s what Americans desire. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 72 percent of Americans consider the federal deficit to be a very big or moderately large problem. This is more than any concern surrounding the current political issues, such as illegal immigration or crime.
They are more intelligent than politicians. We are seeing red in our fiscal futures, after spending nearly $6 trillion for pandemic-related programmes. Although a fiscal crisis is not imminent, we are facing the effects of economic congestion and distortions caused by low spending and high growth.
However, the Democrats controlling the House, Senate, and White House ignore these facts and are pushing through more spending—trying to make many temporary COVID-19 measures permanent programs while expanding existing and already unsustainable programs.
Republicans have unified their opposition to the measure, becoming tired of the current trend. They are now joined in opposition by some Democrats, both in the Senate and the House. Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.) For example, Sen. Joe Mannchin (D.W.Va.), announced that he won’t vote for the $3.5 trillion of tax and spending legislation. He stated that he would not vote for reconciliation bills that exceed $1.5 trillion. This would bring the fiscal year’s total spending up to $5 trillion.
People who are resisting entitlement expansion should be commended. Although those receiving these programs, which include federal paid leaves, universal preK and expanded child taxes credits, might like to receive the initial benefits, there have been studies that show they can cause harm and even backfire on those they were meant to benefit. European paid-leave programs are characterized by lower salaries, less promotions and lower levels of employment.
Progressive members of the Democratic Party are not in agreement. Hence, the political pressure they’re putting on the opposition by refusing to vote on a separate $1 trillion infrastructure bill negotiated with Republicans by Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D–Ariz.) Until they reach an agreement, the $3.5 trillion bill will not be passed. That is irrelevant The Wall Street JournalIt was rightly noted that the legislation is an “once-in a century bipartisan infrastructure bill”, and is therefore a priority from both the left and the right.
They also want to use budget gimmicks to fool them into agreeing to the expansion of entitlements. For instance, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) noted that “Washington math is notoriously funny…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 lashed at Congressmen who still allow them to disagree and the fact that radical reform of American welfare spending won’t be easy. Manchin’s compromise of $1.5 trillion is huge. Brian Riedl, the Manhattan Institute’s Brian Riedl, reminds us that Manchin is in fact a big-government man. Riedl writes for the New York PostManchin had voted in favor of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package in March and assisted with the creation of the $550 billion infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate. A budget resolution, which raises the baseline for discretionary spending by $1 trillion in a decade, was also supported by him.
The Democrat-driven opposition against this spending increase should cause everyone to pause rather than inflame the fury. Democrats must at the minimum, address Manchin’s legitimate point that spending trillions more to expand government programs when there is no money for vital social programs such as Medicare or Social Security, is fiscal madness. In 2005, it’s clear that we aren’t.
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