At least, President Joe Biden seems to have given up on trying to restart the tangled negotiations regarding his “Build back Better” plan.
Biden on Thursday outlined plans for a new spending framework that would cost about $1.85 trillion over 10 years—a slimmed-down version of the $3.5 trillion plan he’s been pushing for months. It would contain approximately $555 billion to combat climate change and $400 billion for child-care. a host of other progressive policy prescriptionsThis is. The framework was intended to break a progressive-vs.-moderate logjam within the Democratic Caucus in Congress, but so far does not seem to have found anything close to universal support. The House abandoned plans to approve Biden’s bill on Thursday night and instead chose to hold that bill hostage while negotiations continue over the social spending bill.
It’s hard to count the number of interactions Sen. Manchin had with journalists today. He is not willing to say that he supports the WH framework, which was more closely negotiated than with any other lawmaker. This seems remarkable.
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) October 28, 2021
The Wall Street JournalThis sums up the current state of play
Wrangling all party factions behind a particular set of ideas has proved challenging, especially as congressional leaders and the administration have jettisoned some of progressives’ favored proposals in the face of objections from moderates….
However, progressives who have for several months blocked the infrastructure bill to maintain the progress of the social-policy bills on track made it clear that they were not ready to give up their opposition. They demanded that Democrats delay the vote on the Public-Works Bill for the second consecutive month. However, progressives stated they were hopeful of moving the bills to the House next week.
Biden’s framework, aside from the legislative intrigue, is also notable for a number of other reasons. It seems to be full of budget tricks. At $110 trillion, the framework includes an extension for one year of the child tax credit. It’s not a secret that the tax credit is going to be kept forever. Although this disingenuous accounting may make the overall package appear smaller, it’s not the best way to govern.
The new framework seems to also overestimate the revenue side.
(2) Notable revenue differences include the 15% tax minimum on book income, and an increase of $80B in IRS funding over the next 10 year. According to the White House, it was $325B and $450B respectively. $PWBMOnly $195B or 190B revenues are estimated, respectively. pic.twitter.com/8eXL3jHJe9
— Penn Wharton Budget Model (@BudgetModel) October 28, 2021
The “new” framework is plagued by many of same problems as Biden’s March “Build Back better” plan. It’s a Schrödinger’s cat of a proposal—one that promises “transformative investments” in everything from child care to green energy, but one that costs nothing at the same time. It cannot be both, no matter what gimmicks are used.
There should be questions about the existence of this slimmed down spending plan. Biden, his allies, have been making the $3.5 Trillion spending bill a key part of combatting climate change, countering China and creating jobs. Some Democrats claimed that even $3.5 trillion was not enough to accomplish these things.
Biden now claims his revised framework, cutting half the cost of the bill, will allow him to “create millions more jobs, grow our economy, invest our nation, our people and turn the climate crises into an opportunity. This will put us on the path to compete and win in economic warfare for the 21stcentury against China, as well as any other large country in the globe.”
What about $1.7 trillion more that was cut? Is that necessary? Could we accomplish the same tasks with a lower bill? It doesn’t add up.
Facebook has rebranded corporate operations as Meta. It signals that it is moving away from the social media model and towards what Mark Zuckerberg considers the future of online interactions, the metaverse.
However, what is more? Is Is there a metaverse? It is named in honor of Neal Stephenson’s 1992 cyberpunk novel. Snow CrashIf you’ve not read it yet, this weekend is the perfect time to start. Meta calls it “a collection of virtual spaces that you can explore and create with people not in your physical space.” This is a new concept in the internet, which simulates more closely the real world. Virtual reality tech will make it seem as though you are talking to someone in person, even though it is possible to communicate with anyone on the other side of the world. You can think about it. FortniteBut for all.
— Anshel Sag (@anshelsag) October 28, 2021
It’s a cool concept, but one that remains very much unproven—both in terms of how well it would work, but perhaps more importantly in how much people would actually want Make social media seem more human.
McDonald’s is increasing its prices for their menu In order to counter rising supply costs and the costlier labor force, The Wall Street Journal Reports:
Executives stated that Big Mac makers are also spending more on paper, food, and other supplies. According to executives, McDonald’s anticipates that its commodity prices for 2019 will rise between 3.5% and 4%, compared with the 2% that they increased in 2021.
These higher prices are reaching consumers as McDonald’s executives stated that they anticipate U.S. price increases of about 6% in the coming year.
• Even though COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available for kids ages 5–11, most parents aren’t in a rush to get them jabbed:
Only 27% of parents with kids ages 5-11 say they will get their child vaccinated right away, a decrease from 34% in September — according to the latest @KFF Vaccine Monitor. 33% say that they won’t get their child vaccined. It is up to us. https://t.co/xNIdXVUGKt pic.twitter.com/D7cBrm5krd
— Benjy Renton (@bhrenton) October 28, 2021
• For the first time in public, a firsthand account of torture at a CIA-run “black site” prison: “The more I cooperated, the more I was tortured.”
• A used Honda Civic that was valued at $21,000 when it was brand new in 2016 just resold for $27,000 because the used car market is insane right now.
• Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was charged with groping the breast of a female assistant.
• California condors are having “virgin births” and scientists aren’t sure why.
• Happy Halloween!
Blood-sucking eel with rows of swirling teeth spotted after 20-year hunt https://t.co/xkW8pnkPjT pic.twitter.com/Kl3eqZIp6A
— New York Post (@nypost) October 28, 2021