Senate Democrats have unveiled a gargantuan $3.5 trillion spending proposal that they plan to pass using the reconciliation process. The dollar amount is scary enough but it’s what Joe Biden and his party want to do with that money that should terrify us.
Democrats are already running a $3 trillion deficit for this fiscal year and inflation is at 5.8 percent compared to last year. The month-to-month inflation increase was 0.9 percent. That pencils out to double-digit inflation for the year that would destroy any hope of a strong economic recovery.
In essence, the bill would transform the welfare state by mandating dependency and applying a sheen of confusing and ill-thought-out social justice rules and regulations over the entire economy. From now on, it will be the government picking winners and losers in the economy and you can well imagine who will be winning and who will be losing.
The legislation Democrats are preparing is expected to include paid family and medical leave, subsidized child care, an extension of an expanded child tax credit, universal prekindergarten for three and four-year-olds and affordable housing, among other issues. It would also extend expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies approved earlier this year in the Covid-19 aid package.
The plan would broaden Medicare benefits to cover dental, vision and hearing—and would aim to reduce the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices, among other steps.
There’s also plenty in the bill for the green crazies.
Democrats are proposing a series of ideas, including tax credits for clean energy investments and a clean electricity standard, aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the electricity sector by 80% and economywide by 50% by 2030.
Democrats are also proposing polluter import fees. Such fees could help lower emissions globally while generating revenue for the U.S., effectively acting as an emissions-based tariff.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was as giddy as a schoolgirl.
“Joe Biden is coming to our lunch tomorrow to lead us on to getting this wonderful plan that affects American families in a so profound way, more than anything that’s happened to generations,” Schumer told reporters. “We are very proud of this plan. We know we have a long road to go. We’re going to get this done for the sake of making average Americans’ lives a whole lot better.”
The sticking point will be how to pay for this monstrosity. Actually, no one expects Congress to find a way to pay for the bill. The trick will be blowing enough smoke and using enough mirrors to make it appear Congress will pay for the plan. In fact, any tax increases on the wealthy or large corporations will fail to raise anywhere nearly the amount of revenue Democrats say it will. It never has and never will.
With every single Republican senator opposed to the plan, Democrats are going to have to find a way to satisfy all 50 Senate Democrats for the bill to have a chance at passage. But the spending bill, along with the election power grab legislation, should be seen in tandem. They are the keystones to Democratic electoral dominance for the next decade and even the radicals are on board.
“What this legislation says among many, many other things is that those days are gone. The wealthy and large corporations are going to start paying their fair share of taxes, so that we can protect the working families in this country,” said Senator Bernie Sanders.
The agreement, a significant decrease from Sanders’ $6 trillion proposal, is an attempt to achieve consensus in an ideologically diverse Democratic Party with a host of competing interests. The legislation has yet to be written.
Senate Democratic leaders hope to advance both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the party-line budget reconciliation bill this month, before Congress leaves for the August recess.
The only hope for Republicans is obstruction, delay, and sabotage. If they draw out the reconciliation process and make it as painful and time-consuming as possible, centrist opposition may have time to coalesce. All that’s needed is one or two moderates to say no and the whole house of cards would come crashing down.