The House passed the almost $1.2 trillion infrastructure package last weekend. The vote came after months of back-and-forth drama among various factions within Democratic Party.
Ideally, that would be the final act in an overly long spending spree from Congress that began last year, but there’s an all-too-real chance the worst is yet to come.
Self-interested lobbying groups have portrayed the infrastructure bill as an “investment” to help the economy. The poorly-crafted package will cost taxpayers money in many ways.
- Mixing budget gimmicks with adding to the already high prices national debt to “pay” for the spending hike.
- Increased subsidies for mass transit. This is a heavily subsidized system that has experienced a ridership decline since the COVID-19 epidemic. With a long-term increase in telework reducing the amount of commuting to urban cores, this is the worst possible time to throw more money at transit (unless you’re a unionized transit worker.
- Incorporating left-wing priorities, social justice concepts and other ideas into transportation law. The bill repeatedly cites a goal of “equity,” funds “traffic calming” projects that increase congestion, and will even subsidize broadband internet service for prisoners.
- Washington bureaucrats are now empowered to manage infrastructure projects across the country, further empowering them. Because federally funded projects are accompanied by reams cost-increasingRed tape can lead to less bang per buck, as control shifts away from the state and local levels to the feds.
Amazingly, it was the fourth major spending bill to pass in 20 months. Each of these bills had a fiscal impact comparable to, or greater than, the first decade of Obamacare.
- March 2020 CARES ActThe, which authorized more that $2 trillion, funded a large response to the pandemic including business loans and safety net programmes. Unfortunately, the rush to produce legislation led to errors, including larger unemployment checks, which meant that many people earned more staying home than if their job was available.
- The December 2020 Response and Relief Act, which spent $900 billion, was almost entirely detached from reality. COVID-19 reached its all-time high, but the spending was more focused on economic stimulus and governmental relief than public health, even though the economy was already stabilizing. In addition to continuing the counterproductive unemployment-benefit benefit, there were unnecessary handouts to political connected industries and public schools.
- The American Rescue Plan, worth $1.9 trillion, was launched in March 2021 and opportunistically used pandemic to fund political special interests. The reopening of public schools was not accelerated by additional cash, and unionized workers were not given bailouts. Worse, the combination of excessive stimulus and anti-work welfare expansions helped set the stage for the economic problems we’re seeing today.
One would hope that throwing trillions upon trillions of dollars of hard earned money around and building up the national deficit to make it more affordable. $28.9 trillionThis would satisfy the progressive left.
But they aren’t stopping, or even slowing down. House Democrats have crafted the biggest spending package yet, and even have the audacity to claim that it’s a compromise.
While they claim it would “only” cost $1.75 trillion, the real cost is much higher. The cost was estimated by the centrist Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. $2.4 trillion.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The spending is heavily subsidized in the first few year, with a total of 10 years of tax increases (partially). The cost of new entitlements and programs over a decade would range from $4.5 trillion to $5 trillion, thanks to an amazing array of gimmicks.
What would Democrats do with such a ridiculous amount of money?
Tax breaks for high-income households in blue states; mass amnesty for illegal immigrants; a super-sized welfare state, discouraging work; price controls that would damage medicinal innovation; Green New Deal items like “environmental justice” college programs and “tree equity”; an array of anti-investment tax hikes; and much more.
America already can’t afford the government we have today. Important programs like Social Security and Medicare are rapidly going bankrupt, and even record-high tax revenues aren’t coming close to keeping pace with the spendthrifts in Congress.
Instead of creating new programs that deepen the D.C. swamp or empowering federal bureaucrats with the power to dictate where our money goes, and how we live our lives, Congress should accelerate the brakes.
It’s not too late for legislators to step back from the cliff’s edge and learn how to live within their means.
This would mean ensuring that existing programs are stable; focusing the federal government’s core priorities by eliminating wasteful boondoggles in the budget. tax code;Boosting the economy through getting government out of the wayInstead of offering new flavours of corporate welfare,
The first step would be to pass the deeply radical social spending package that Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants to force down our throats before Thanksgiving.
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