Does Joe Biden actually want to crush low-income Americans with high inflation?
You have to wonder. Since Biden took office, it seems his every decision has tilted toward driving prices higher.
The White House has gone out of its way to squash U.S. oil and gas production, helping to raise the cost of gasoline and home heating oil. They have spewed ever more generous benefits, partly through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, worsening a critical labor shortage. The difficulty hiring workers has in turn boosted wages and raised the cost of nearly everything.
Voter tsunami begins to drown Democrats
And now we have Build Back Better (BBB) – a spending bill that will push trillions more dollars into the nation’s pocketbooks and will put inflation on steroids.
We thought Biden was supposed to care about the "little guy." Heads up Mr. President: it’s the little guy who’s taking it on the chin.
And for what? To satisfy the long-held ambitions of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who wants to create a cradle-to-grave socialist-style economy. Sanders, who dislikes capitalism, abhors successful Americans like Elon Musk and has zero confidence in the opportunity economy. Bernie, who wants to transform our country.
Remember how Bernie Sanders complained that Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion BBB wasn’t big enough and how the Vermont progressive pressed for $5 trillion or $6 trillion instead? Recall the White House saying that $3.5 trillion was the max they could jam through and Democrats reluctantly agreeing to scale that figure back to $1.85 trillion to mollify moderates?
Turns out, it was all lies; Sanders got his $5 trillion after all. That’s the actual cost of the Democrats’ social welfare bill passed by the House, if it is scored honestly, which the Congressional Budget Office failed to do.
According to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, if you ditch the blatant deceptions contained in the bill, Democrats are committing to programs that will cost our country just shy of $5 trillion. Programs like the child tax credit, which hands out thousands of dollars per child every year and contains no work requirement, are penciled in to last only a year, but really are expected to go on forever. The difference? Roughly one trillion dollars over the next decade.
Biden’s BBB is a spending eruption akin to what might transpire if you give a teenager a credit card with no limits.
Ditto the tripled Earned Income Tax Credit, which Democrats pretend will only prevail for one year, though of course they expect otherwise.
The child care entitlement, sweetened ObamaCare subsidies, the pre-K plan – the price tag for all these new programs will be much higher than the figure stated in BBB.
Another falsehood is that the spending will be strung out over a decade; in reality, the $5 trillion blast is front-end loaded. Americans will feel this bill’s impact right away, as prices skyrocket.
All told, Biden’s BBB is a spending eruption akin to what might transpire if you give a teenager a credit card with no limits – a total lack of discipline and divorcement from reality. Only the teenager in this picture is Bernie Sanders.
Why are Democrats risking not only their political futures but also the nation’s economy for a bill conjured up by a self-styled democratic socialist? Because they owe Sanders and his followers. Without them Biden would not have won in 2020.
Will BBB earn their ongoing loyalty? Doubtful. Bernie will never be satisfied.
No sooner than BBB passed the House than Sanders made it clear: the bill, which he has called the most significant legislation ever, is not bold or big enough. He wants it "strengthened," with higher taxes, expanded Medicare, lower prescription drug prices and more climate measures.
If you give a mouse a cookie…
As BBB now goes to the Senate, the more outlandish falsehoods about the bill’s true costs will be publicly aired. After all, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wanted a CBO score that did away with what he rightly called the bill’s "gimmicks." He didn’t get that.
Hopefully other moderate Democrats will join the West Virgina senator and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema in questioning the bill’s damaging tax-and-spend provisions and whether now is the time to further dig our country into a fiscal ditch.
As they cheered and clapped each other on the back for passing BBB last week, House Democrats ignored the pile-up of spending over the past two years that has driven our debt and spending to unprecedented levels. The CBO has warned that our country’s deficits will top $1 trillion every year through 2030; that ominous total does not include the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, or this current monstrosity.
The Pelosi team also ignored the fact that consumers are flush, and jobs are plentiful.
There will come a time when, for reasons we cannot anticipate now, the economy will need stimulus. What will we do then?
But the real reason that Democrats need to hit the pause button is that we have entered an inflationary cycle which will be made worse by a bill that not only injects hundreds of billions of dollars more into the economy but also encourages more people to sit on the sidelines. Continued upward pressure on wages, evident in recent labor settlements, will feed into a worsening wage-price spiral.
Historically the only way the U.S. or any other country has escaped from runaway prices is through a harsh recession. That is how the 1970s inflation surge was bought to heel; that is what we may have to endure down the road.
All because Bernie Sanders allowed Joe Biden to become president. What a price to pay.