Nate Jackson / Apr. 6, 2021

Manchin’s Calculated ‘Objections’ to ‘Infrastructure’ Bill

The good cop, bad cop routine Democrats are playing will still lead to massive debt.

Does anyone out there still care about the national debt? Not really, even if a bipartisan group of lawmakers is rather half-heartedly highlighting the fact that the debt has reached $85,210 per person. “I’m concerned about it in terms of generational equity, the long-term implications for your generation and the generation that comes after,” said Maine Senator Angus King, an “independent” who caucuses with the Democrats. “And it bothers me from a sort of ethical point of view that where my generation is … spending your money.”

Does it bother him or any other Democrat enough to oppose the latest spending sprees? Nope.

Just ask Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia (Donald Trump by 39 points). He’s come out with a show of harrumphing about the Democrats’ “infrastructure” boondoggle, saying, “As the bill exists today, it needs to be changed.”

But Manchin’s quibbles are small potatoes. He said last month that increasing the corporate tax rate to “at least” 25% would be necessary to “pay for” the spending, even though we noted last week how woefully inadequate and wrongheaded the tax hike to 28% is. Manchin objects to 28%, saying, “There’s six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive, and we’re not going to throw caution to the wind.”

Somebody ask him what he thinks about the estimated $200 billion in unemployment fraud in the Not COVID Relief spending. Or ask him about King’s remarks regarding generational debt.

Meanwhile, Alabama Congressman and Senate candidate Mo Brooks took the debt comments even further: “We’re going to blow through the $30 trillion debt mark sometime this year. And after a while, citizens’ eyes tend to get a little bit glassy. But they need to understand that American citizens are responsible individually for paying that entire debt and each citizen’s share … is $90,000.” And if you really do the math of who pays the taxes, he says, “$720,000 is the average debt burden of each family of four in the United States of America.”

That is stunning. Or it should be.

Manchin gave away his own power play when he said, “If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere.” But make no mistake, this is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s plan, too. Indeed, Manchin’s objections are all part of the strategy. Democrats roll out their big plans, allow him and a couple of others to say slow down a tad, make some adjustments to show how moderate and careful they’re being, and then pass it without any Republican support.

Doubt that’s what will happen? Consider that the Senate parliamentarian ruled Monday that Democrats can pursue reconciliation on additional spending legislation, meaning they can circumvent the filibuster without eliminating it. That means massive spending bills that enact hugely consequential shifts in big sectors of the economy, all without needing a single Republican vote.

Is this a setup for passing the grossly misnamed “For the People Act”?

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