David Ditch, Daily Signal
The House Democrats released an updated version on October 28th of their social spending plan. This is the biggest legislative proposal ever made. It weighs 1,684 pages and includes trillions of dollars of taxing and spending.
I-Vt. Senator Bernie Sanders claims that the bill represents a compromise. The bill is in fact a deeply radical document. It would vastly expand federal power, encourage a wide range of left-wing causes and waste enormous amounts of taxpayer money.
We have listed just nine problematic policy areas in the bill.
1. Budget Gimmicks for Gasoline on Inflationary Fire
It is claimed that the bill will cost $1.75 trillion, which includes tax credits and spending. This is a guess by Democrats since the official scorekeepers for Congress have yet to weigh in.
Also, this stated cost (which does not equal zero) can only be achieved through deliberate budgetary gimmicks. Some key programs end after only a few years as opposed to the normal 10 years. In some cases, they even expire within a year.
Amazingly, the bill’s cost would more than double without the gimmicking.
Even if the program expires, this would be an issue. That’s because the bill front-loads the spending while spreading tax hikes across the decade, meaning it would increase deficit spending significantly in the first few years, especially the first year.
This would lead to artificially pumping in billions of dollars. It would only worsen inflation, which has been the worst in many decades.
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Causing hardworking families to pay more for essentials is no way to “build back better.”
RELATED: $2.9 Trillion In Tax Increases Slated For Reconciliation Bill
2. Taxpayer Dollars as A Backdoor To Mass Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants
For decades, the Left has made it a priority to provide amnesty for illegal immigrants. While the spending package is supposed to be just that—a spending package, not a new immigration law—Democrats are attempting to sneak amnesty through the back door.
There are limitations on what this bill can include, as it is designed to conform to strict budgetary guidelines. The Senate parliamentarian has ruled against the inappropriate amnesty provision twice already, with the second decision relating to the language that’s in the revised bill.
Democrats have said that the current immigration text is a “placeholder” while they make a third attempt to convince the parliamentarian to give them what they want. The fact that they’re including text that has already been ruled out of order demonstrates how little regard they have for the rules.
3. Massive Subsidy For ‘Environmental Justice’ At Colleges
While many programs were cut in both the first and second editions of the bill, Section 136601 remained unaffected. That section would direct $10 billion to “environmental justice” programs at colleges and universities.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a student studying the environment. However, there is every reason to oppose federal funding for “environmental justice”—a blatantly ideological approach to the issue—which would primarily serve to produce legions of left-wing activists.
4. Huge Handouts for the Wealthy
While class warfare is a central component of left-wing activism, that apparently doesn’t apply to subsidizing things the left likes.
It also includes massive tax reductions for the purchase of electric cars. Since electrics aren’t cheap, most of their current market is people with six-figure incomes. The bill provides tax rebates for households making up to $800,000. Vehicles costing more than $74,000 are eligible.
If a person makes $400,000, they would receive $12,500 back. It’s hard to line that up with the concept of “economic justice,” and that’s just one of many instances of “green” handouts and corporate welfare in the bill.
RELATED: As Democrats Try To Sneak Immigration Provision In Spending Bill, Video Surfaces Of Biden ‘Sounding A Lot Like Trump’ On Illegals
5. IRS Agents are now in new Legions
While the “defund the police” movement has created waves of controversy, the left appears united when it comes to funding one kind of law enforcement: tax cops.
In an effort to increase revenue, the bill will throw $79 billion of taxpayer money at the IRS. That’s equivalent to six years of regular spending on the IRS, and it’s done in a way that creates a slush fund for the Treasury secretary to use with wide discretion.
Let’s be clear: The federal government doesn’t have a revenue problem. In the most recent fiscal year it brought in record $4 trillion. If spending had been at 2017 levels, that would have made it possible to maintain a balanced budget.
Our spending problems are serious. The federal spending grows faster than the economy every year, which would make it worse.
6. Training in Anti-Racism with Double Size
A rare instance of an item increasing from the first version: Section 31048, which would use $50 million (up from $25 million) on “antidiscrimination and bias training” at the Department of Health and Human Services.
This department is responsible for overseeing a wide range of expensive social benefits programs. Since it’s extremely unlikely that a collection of de facto social workers is a haven of bigotry, the only realistic purpose of the training is far-left indoctrination.
7. Billions For ‘Tree Equity’
Section 11003 would deliver $2.5 billion for “community tree canopy” and “tree equity,” which is progressive-speak for planting trees in cities.
This might be a worthwhile endeavor for local residents to undertake, but it’s wrong for the federal government to forcibly subsidize urban areas at the expense of rural and suburban areas (and vice versa for other programs). The environmental benefits of this program will outweigh the costs involved in planting trees on a per tree basis.
This spending package is principally concerned with providing benefits for selected interests groups and constituencies. The program is an excellent example.
8. Millions for Socialized Housing
Mass scale housing was one of the most disastrous socialist experiments in big government. In cities throughout the U.S. and Europe concrete slabs were common.
We eventually abandoned that model, but the need to have centrally planned housing was never satisfied. The new spending package provides billions for a range of such activities, including public housing construction, federally approved housing planning, and paying “fair housing organizations” to do thinly-disguised political activism.
Although there is much to be improved in housing policy, this approach is not right.
RELATED: Poll: Majority Of Voters Blame Democrat Policies For Rising Inflation
9. Millions For Bees, Mussels, And ‘Desert Fish’
Any major spending bill wouldn’t be complete without narrowly targeted pork. Four sections provide $4.85 million apiece for the conservation of Hawaiian plants, “pollinators” (bees), freshwater mussels, and “desert fish.”
These species merit special consideration, on top the millions of dollars spent each year on conservation.
This is the answer from the 2019 legislation that was written by Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources. These species were specifically targeted in Grijalva’s bill, which didn’t pass. Grijalva was responsible for the section’s drafting and was therefore able to include the earmarks in the package.
The country would be able to survive on these millions of dollars. But these earmarks show an indifference to taxpayers that is all too familiar in Washington.
So-called Build back Better would give Congress and federal bureaucrats the power to empower left-wing activists, reduce investment in businesses that are desperately needed, increase inflation, and most likely add to our high national debt.
Just because the bill uses gimmicks to appear smaller than it was before doesn’t change the fact that it would do great harm to America.
The Daily Signal granted permission to syndicate this article.