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October 28, 2021

Democrats Squabble Over Spending Schemes

Biden has pitched a $1.75 trillion plan and is pushing hard for passage.

For months, Democrats have been bickering over just how much of your hard-earned money to spend and on what government-expanding programs. The original tax-and-spend proposal, written by Bernie Sanders, was $3.5 trillion. A whole lot of accounting gimmicks were employed to hide the true cost, which would really be more than $5 trillion. Joe Biden eventually insisted it was “zero dollars.” Then he said it probably wouldn’t be more than $2 trillion, and this morning he traveled to Congress to present a new framework for $1.75 trillion on what Democrats and their media mouthpieces are calling a package of social and climate spending. Biden will speak today about his priorities.

With a 50-50 Senate and a bare majority in the House, Democrats need every vote to overcome unified Republican opposition to their Build Back Government Better Bigger agenda. That’s why Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema wield so much influence, and it’s why Democrats recently abandoned “free” community college and a central-planning program for clean energy, along with just yesterday scuttling their plan for paid leave.

“The U.S. is one of just eight countries without national paid maternity leave,” complains NBC News is a transparent attempt to shame opponents of Democrat benevolence.

Yeah, well, the U.S. is also one of just seven countries that allows elective abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy — right up there with human rights defenders like Vietnam, North Korea, and China.

“I want to look at everything — we should be examining all this stuff,” said Manchin of his opposition to paid leave. “There’s a lot of things that could be good. But to put this in the reconciliation bill — major policy — is not the place to do it.”

Senator Kirsten “Everything Is Infrastructure” Gillibrand, however, isn’t giving up. “It’s not out,” she said. “It’s not over until it’s over.”

Democrats are also still fighting over whether to pass “infrastructure” first or continue to hold that hostage to the larger bill. Leftists want infrastructure now; radical leftists want the “social safety net” first. And they’re blaming each other for the logjam. “It’s the effing progressives,” one moderate Democrat insisted. Sanders retorted that “every sensible progressive revenue option” for this bill “seems to be sabotaged.”

One of the things that might be “sabotaged” is the Democrats’ likely unconstitutional scheme to tax the unrealized capital gains of a few hundred billionaires. Our Lewis Morris covers that today, but it might not survive.

Biden is pushing hard in negotiations for two reasons — he’s taken a beating in the polls here at home, and he’s leaving later today for Rome and then Glasgow for a big climate summit. “The president looked at us in the eye and he said, ‘I need this before I go represent the United States in Glasgow,’” said California Democrat Ro Khanna. “American prestige is on the line.”

We hate to break it to him, but Joe Biden has already thoroughly undermined American prestige. And even if Democrats do manage to pass both pieces of legislation, that’s not the kind of “prestige” the country needs right now. Or ever.

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