September 3, 2021

Manchin Is the Thorn in Schumer’s Side

The West Virginia Democrat is slowing the rush to socialist utopia.

Let’s get one thing straight up front: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV — Trump by 39 points) is no conservative. It’s very unlikely that he’ll switch parties anytime soon, as some hope. If for no other reason, he likes the attention he can generate as the “moderate” Democrat in a 50/50 Senate. All the same, the thought of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Bernie Sanders suffering some serious heartburn over Manchin is amusing.

Earlier this week, Manchin called for Congress to “hit the pause button” on the $3.5 trillion Bernie Sanders-written spending bonanza poised to pass both houses. Then he wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed fleshing out his argument and throwing down the gauntlet:

Some in Congress have a strange belief there is an infinite supply of money to deal with any current or future crisis, and that spending trillions upon trillions will have no negative consequence for the future. …

At $28.7 trillion and growing, the nation’s debt has reached record levels. Over the past 18 months, we’ve spent more than $5 trillion responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Now Democratic congressional leaders propose to pass the largest single spending bill in history with no regard to rising inflation, crippling debt or the inevitability of future crises. Ignoring the fiscal consequences of our policy choices will create a disastrous future for the next generation of Americans. …

I, for one, won’t support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs.

Unfortunately, Manchin’s opposition has more to do with the timing and size of the bill than the sweeping socialism of Sanders’s legislation. Yet Manchin also hints at objections on a more fundamental level. “The purpose of the proposed $3.5 trillion in new spending isn’t to solve urgent problems, but to re-envision America’s social policies,” he says. “I believe that spending trillions more dollars not only ignores present economic reality, but makes it certain that America will be fiscally weakened when it faces a future recession or national emergency.”

Speaking of recession, we’re certainly not in one right now, but the economy isn’t exactly roaring either. The August jobs report was a huge disappointment, with only 235,000 jobs added instead of the expected 720,000. There are now a record-shattering 10.5 million openings in the country, largely because Democrats keep spending taxpayer money to keep people from taking those jobs.

Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are the only two Democrat senators who even have qualms about the latest spending spree. A handful of “moderate” Democrats in the House feel likewise. Ultimately, though, we expect Democrat infighting won’t stop them from passing something, and whatever it is will be too expensive and too radical because that’s just who Democrats are.

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