The Democrats really do think it’s possible to spend your way out of debt.
Democratic leaders called on Wednesday for additional spending to boost the sluggish U.S. economy, setting up a fresh hurdle for bipartisan efforts in Washington to head off a government debt default this summer.
Democrats’ demand for new stimulus spending is at odds with the work of negotiators, led by Vice President Joe Biden, who are trying to find trillions of dollars in savings as part of a deal that would allow Congress to sign off on new government borrowing before the U.S. runs out of money to pay its bills.
Those talks, which resumed on Wednesday, have largely focused on spending cuts over the next 10 years. Senate Democrats want the deal to include more money for highway construction, a payroll tax cut and clean-energy subsidies to bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
“Get the recovery right before you get in this deficit-cutting mode,” Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin told reporters. “Get people back to work. Let’s start moving in that direction.”
Get the recovery right? Let’s go over a few of the ways the Democrats are getting the “recovery” wrong. They spent $1 trillion on payoffs to their various political allies rather than focusing on helping the actual economy. They have hurt the offshore oil industry with the permitorium, and they’re threatening to hurt on-shore drilling to favor a West Texas lizard. They passed the massive ObamaCare bill that has scrambled employers’ ability to account for their health care costs, and increased their liabilities. Meanwhile they have failed to pass or even work seriously on a national budget, which among other things would at least put something close to a rational fix on how much the government actually intends to spend. They have threatened to raise taxes on “the rich,” which includes many small businesses, and which will slow down the “recovery.” And to every single problem, they propose the same solution set: Tax and spend. Borrow and spend. Or tax and borrow and spend.
And now they want…more money to spend. Incredible.