Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday countered fellow Sen. Joe Manchin’s recent Fox Newsappearance with op-ed on the right-wing outlet’s website aimed at rebutting the West Virginia Democrat’s falsehood-laden talking points against the Build Back Better Act.
“Manchin, the Republicans, and corporate America say this bill will add to our national debt and make inflation worse. Not true,” wrote Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. “Unlike the bloated military budget that Manchin recently voted for, which adds $778 billion to the deficit this year alone and costs four times more than the Build Back Better Act over a 10-year period, the White House has said this bill is fully paid for” with tax hikesFor the wealthy.
Manchin has voted for11 consecutive military budgets were approved, including the most recent version of the National Defense Authorization Act. The West Virginia Democrat approved the budget without complaining about its price tag.
“And to add insult to injury, this military budget came after we ended the longest war in recent U.S. history and was $25 billion more than what President Biden requested,” the Vermont senator continued.
“I should also add that, despite Manchin’s ‘deep concerns’ about the national debt, he voted for $53 billion in corporate welfare that would go to a handful of profitable microchip companies — completely unpaid for,” Sanders wrote, a reference to the Senate-passed Endless Frontier Act, which would provide taxpayer subsidies to U.S. semiconductor companies.
Sanders’ Fox News op-ed came days after Manchin — flush with corporate cash — appeared on the network’s Sunday programTo announce his opposition to the Build Back Better Act, a centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s domestic policy agenda.
“This is a no on this legislation,” Manchin told Fox’s Bret Baier. “We have inflation that basically could harm—really harm a lot of Americans and especially those who are most needy and having a hard time struggling right now.”
But economists have disputed Manchin’s narrative that the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better package would fuel rising inflation, which analysts say is driven by a number of factors including pandemic-related supply chain disruptions to corporate profiteering. Experts have actually found warnedThat Not passing the legislation could harm the nation’s fragile economic recovery.
Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, argued last month that the Build Back Better Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law together would actually “take the edge off of inflation” by helping to “lift long-term economic growth via stronger productivity and labor force growth.”
Writing for The ConversationEarlier this week, economist Michael Klein noted that “the price tag of the Build Back Better plan passed by the House of Representatives is about $2 trillion, to be spent over a 10-year period.”
“If the spending is spread out evenly, that would amount to about $200 billion a year. That’s only about 3% of how much the government planned to spend in 2021,” Klein observed. “At the same time, what’s in the bill would make a big differenceTo improve the lives of average Americans providing more of them with affordable child and healthcare and reducing child poverty — areas where the U.S. seriously lags behind other rich countries. It is also available in German. would help the U.S. fight the ever-worsening effects of climate change.”
“While the $2 trillion in spending would be unlikely to worsen inflation if it were to become law,” Klein concluded, “I believe it could do a lot to materially address these challenges America faces.”