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October 29, 2021

And Now It’s Time for Spending Myths With Joe

Biden’s speech advocating for his spending agenda was full of fantasies and falsehoods.

President Joe Biden doesn’t have a budget deal yet, but yesterday afternoon he made an official statement as if he does, just prior to heading to Rome and then Glasgow. After all, he needs to give the impression to world leaders that he’s still relevant and he’s not the earliest lame-duck president in history.

“I am pleased to announce,” he began, that “we have a historic economic framework.”

That’s news to Progressive Caucus Democrats, who once again yesterday blocked “infrastructure” in the House, holding it hostage to their bigger Bernie Sanders agenda that Joe Biden, Joe Manchin, and Krysten Sinema have already reduced to a meager $1.75 trillion (or is it $1.85 trillion?). And yet it’s still, as was evident in Biden’s speech, a massive expansion of the entitlement state. The federal government is not empowered by the Constitution to be a social services nonprofit, yet that’s exactly what Democrats have been doing since the New Deal and the Great Society.

From a monthly stipend for the child tax credit, to universal pre-Kindergarten, to expansion of Medicaid and Medicare, the cradle-to-grave welfare state would grow in this bill. Despite having to trim a few things like “free” college and paid maternity leave, the door is open for those things in the future.

Massive federal spending last year and already early this year drastically increased the national debt, all while hampering the jobs market and spurring terrible inflation. But Biden inhabits an alternate reality where his proposal “will create millions of jobs, grow the economy, invest in our nation and our people, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, and put us on a path not only to compete, but to win the economic competition for the 21st century against China and every other major country in the world.” Moreover, because he’ll tax the nation into oblivion, he essentially repeated his “zero dollars” canard: “It’s fiscally responsible. It’s fully paid for. … It will not add to the deficit at all; it will actually reduce the deficit.”

Fact-check: Flagrantly false. His tax increases not only haven’t actually materialized yet, but they will fail to raise the promised revenue. The other side of the coin is that spending is always higher than advertised, and Democrats have loaded up their bill with accounting gimmicks that will assure just that outcome. (For example, no one really thinks the child tax credit will last for only one year and $110 billion.) Put together, that means there’s no way this package doesn’t add to the federal debt, because the true 10-year cost won’t be $1.75 trillion but more like $4 trillion.

Another fact-check: Despite Biden’s oft-promised pledge that he won’t raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000, his plans depend on raising taxes on small business owners and on a 15% minimum corporate income tax that will inevitably be passed on to workers. Oh, and there’s that pesky plan to have the IRS chase down millions of Americans for “tax fraud.” Thus, his tax promise is a technicality that, in the real world, is utterly false.

Biden talked a lot about infrastructure — the roads and bridges kind, not the kitchen sink that Democrats now label “infrastructure.” He lamented that U.S. infrastructure “used to be rated the best in the world” but now ranks “13th in the world.” There’s a lot we could say about that, but really from a strategic standpoint, there’s only one thing to say: The amount of money we’ve spent isn’t the problem; it’s how that money has been spent on overinflated union contracts that amount to slush funds for Democrat constituents, all while environmental regulations cause lengthy delays and increase costs.

In other words, if we actually want better infrastructure, getting Democrats out of the way is the path forward.

As part of his $555 billion climate push in this package, the president also touted electric vehicles by stretching the truth beyond recognition. They’re “good for the climate,” he insists, because “they do not expend any pollution into the air.” Technically, that’s true. But mining material for batteries that will someday have to be disposed of, along with the other energy of manufacturing a car and powering it on the road, aren’t free of any environmental impact. “Zero emissions” is simply a disingenuous fairytale.

But that portion of the speech also included one of the more humorous Bidenisms: “When you buy an electric vehicle … you go all the way across America on a single tank of gas, figuratively speaking. It’s not gas. You plug it in.”

Fact-check: Incoherent.

Earlier in the speech, Biden declared: “No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that’s what compromise is. That’s consensus. And that’s what I ran on.” He added, “I’ve long said compromise and consensus are the only way to get big things done in a democracy, important things for the country.”

Just to be clear, the “compromise” and “consensus” he’s boasting about are among the warring factions of the Democrat Party, and even that isn’t settled yet. Zero Republicans support the Biden-Sanders agenda. That sort of partisanship is not what President Unity promised, and he’s doing nothing to change it. Oh well. It’s off to Europe he goes for more “unity” on climate change.

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