The reckless budget reconciliation plan under discussion in Congress gets more newsworthy with every day that passes. Passage of this $5 trillion Monstrosity — it makes Hobbes’ “Leviathan” look like a church-mouse — would inflict great damage on the economy through massive spending.
It lacks workfare, it levies across the board tax penalties on productive workers, puts up huge, new regulatory obstacles. It includes a Green New Deal that would jack up the price of power and severely curtail the supply of it. It sneakily attempts to avoid reconciliation rules by inserting amnesty for illegals, unionization, and the Pro Act to make it easier to organize labor.
It would federalize elections, and who knows what in a 10,000 page bill that no human being will read for months and months after it’s passed.
Now it turns out that I may not be alone in my objections.
Axios just published a new poll from the “no labels” group that shows terrific support for Senator Joe Manchin’s idea of a “strategic pause.” Now a pause is not as good as simply shredding the 10,000 pages and putting it into the trash basket, but it’s a start.
The Democratic leadership and the White House hates this idea because they want to roll Congress and the country as quickly as possible to get their so-called woke transformational values encoded into law as much as possible, as fast as possible before inconvenient truths surface, concerning the nation’s decline from these crazy policies.
According to the poll Axios just published, 64% of suburban voters favor a pause, 70% of rural voters, and 47% of urban voters. Interestingly 57% of those with incomes higher than $75K a year and even more — 62% —of those with income under $75K favor a pause.
That’s like the whole country, isn’t it? Even 48% of woke Democrats — which, these days, is to say all Democrats — want a pause, as do 52% of independents and 78% of Republicans. Here’s another shocker: 57% of persons with four-plus years of college want a pause.
These the over-educated elite are the backbone of the woke movement, the smarty pants who often think they’re running the country. Even they want a pause. My goodness! I surely hope uncle Joe Biden reads this Axios poll story, or someone gives him the Cliffs Notes.
You might actually say virtually no one wants this thing. So now we ask the question: Why are we doing it? The easy answer that is the Progressive Left believes in big government socialism and opposes free enterprise capitalism. Tactically, though, I think President Biden would rather talk about anything imaginable, under the sun, anywhere, than deal with the Afghanistan catastrophe.
Budget reconciliation, Covid, global warming, solar panels, hurricanes, forest fires, so-called tornados, Gavin Newsom’s recall, and even firing my dear friend Kellyanne Conway from the Air Force Academy. The trouble with firing up all these distractions is that it turns out the distractions are just as unpopular as the afghan catastrophe.
Mr. Biden really has nowhere to turn as his polls plunge, in some cases now below 40% approval. His vice president has been a non-starter, MIA all along anyway. So what’s left is a shoot-out between Joe Manchin and Bernie sanders. It might be thin gruel or small small beer. Such, though, is the state of American politics in the Biden era.
In any event, other Senate Democrats might be lining up behind Mr. Manchin’s increasingly popular pause. Who, after all, is going to pay for this? The Democrats want to spend like crazy and have the Federal Reserve keep printing money to finance it. That will lead to permanently higher inflation.
This is what the wokes call modern monetary theory. On the other hand, root canal Democrats want to spring for this leviathan with massive tax increases which will penalize the entire productive supply side of the economy. It would most particularly damage the blue collar middle class workforce.
Take the infrastructure bill. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, a good friend, told me dynamic scoring would pay for the spending. However, I thought it would be $300 billion short. I worked it out with a pencil on the back of an envelope — while on the air. I’m always for dynamic scoring, but raising taxes would reduce revenues, as per the Laffer curve. It turns out the CBO scored the infrastructure bill at a $256 billion deficit. So I wasn’t that far off.
The infrastructure bill passed anyway as the ringleaders simply said they don’t agree with the CBO. I love that. I do not agree with CBO much either. But the same thing is going to happen with the reconciliation bill. Rising taxes will reduce revenues by damaging the economy and fostering tax avoidance.
Then again, too, reconciliation rules — part of the regular order I wrote about Tuesday — say they’re supposed to cut the deficit by a trillion dollars. That will never happen. As Senator Ted Cruz said, fortunately the Democrats don’t know what follows a trillion. Since they’re not listening, the answer is a quadrillion.
Oh, and by the way, what about the debt limit and a continuing resolution that’s coming at month’s end. The Leviathan is on the loose. So heck, yeah, I’m for the pause. A shredder is better but a pause suits me as a start.