News & Politics

From Doulas to E-Bikes, Build Back Better is a Massive Boondoggle

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

We’ve all heard the major spending initiatives in the Democrat’s gargantuan $1.85 trillion Build Back Better bill. The legislation will expand the childcare tax credit for a year, make universal pre-K available for all, pitch in a couple of hundred billion dollars to save the planet from global warming, and expand healthcare coverage.

But Democrats, Republicans, and their lobbyist friends just couldn’t resist the chance to load up a piece of legislation with enough special interest goodies until it groaned under the massive weight.

Most of these goodies have been on Congress’s wish list for decades. Some are more recent additions. What they all amount to are many billions of dollars wasted on frivolous, unnecessary, unneeded line items that the federal government has no business funding.

Case in point; the issue of “doulas” — the word means “servant” in Greek — who help a birthing mother deliver. Mind you, these people — mostly women — have no formal obstetric training. They provide care such as massage and other touch therapy rather than medical services.

I’m sure that’s very nice, but why should the American taxpayer pay for that? The program screams for local funding or perhaps state funding.

How do you like paying a cool $50 million for that?

New York Times:

Representative Robin Kelly, Democrat of Illinois, said Black women die in childbirth at four times the rate of white women, arguing that the doula assistance is a necessity.

“Too many moms have died in the United States, and doulas have the cultural competency to support mothers before, during and after birth,” Ms. Kelly said. Doulas, she said, are “advocates for the birthing mom.”

What the hell does “cultural competency” mean in the real world? How many moms can a doula really save compared to an MD or even a licensed midwife if the birth is difficult?

Related: Americans Scoff At Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda

What’s really needed in America is a $2.5 billion program to help lawyers get their contingency fees.

Since the measure was written, [the late Sen. Arlen] Specter switched parties, was defeated and then died, but his work has found its moment. The change would generate considerable savings for trial lawyers — $2.5 billion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s nonpartisan referee on tax policy.

“Lawyers working on a contingency fee basis cannot deduct their expenses until the case resolves, which can be years after the expense is incurred,” said Carly Moore Sfregola, a spokeswoman for the American Association for Justice, the trial lawyers’ lobby. “Contingency fee arrangements are the only way that regular people can afford to seek justice.”

We’ve already covered the $1.8 billion in the bill to “save” local journalism. How about funding one-third of the cost for an electric bike?

Representative Jimmy Panetta, Democrat of California and another proponent of electric bike subsidies, said the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee drafted its section of the bill, provision by provision, and no one objected to the e-bike measure, which would cover 30 percent of the cost, up to $900, to, as he put it, “put butts on bikes.”

Former OMB Director during the Reagan years Dave Stockman gave a famous interview where he talked about what happened to the tax cut bill.

“The hogs were really feeding,” said Stockman, referring to the gaggle of special interest lobbyists who descended on Capitol Hill and caused the tax cut bill to balloon upwards. “The greed level, the level of opportunism, just got out of control,” Stockman added.

You can’t help but think that something similar was at work with Democrats giving the hogs all they could eat.