March 31, 2022

The Biden-Sanders Spending Spree

Joe Biden was elected to be a moderate, not to be a Trojan horse for Bernie Sanders’s socialist agenda.

President Joe Biden’s 2023 federal budget proposal has been billed by the White House as a middle-of-the-road budget solution that addresses all of our problems. The truth, though, is that this $5.8 trillion spending spree is more like something socialist Bernie Sanders would have proposed if he had won the White House instead of “Moderate Joe.”

One of the oldest rules in politics is to avoid trying to be all things to all people. And while Biden is still very much a spendthrift Washington politician beholden to the political Left, he’s also putting greater emphasis on things he thinks voters will want to hear. He is, after all, suffering from historically terrible poll numbers.

For example, Biden has made a big deal of his $813 billion defense budget, a 4% increase over last year. Not to seem ungrateful, but considering both the state of the world and the state of our military, we shouldn’t expect anything less. Our Armed Forces are desperately in need of the most advanced hardware we can provide them — especially since tyrants these days seem more than willing to play their hands.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell poked a realist’s hole in Biden’s budget balloon, pointing out that the 4% increase in defense spending means little in the face of 8% inflation. To which Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks countered that this year’s budget provisions were “resilient to inflation.” This from an administration that first denied the existence of inflation, then explained it away as “transitory.” Resilient to reality sounds more like it.

Biden also increased federal funding for state and local law enforcement, providing $3.2 billion in discretionary and $30 billion in mandatory resources. This may be the death blow to the Left’s Defund the Police movement, which brought our nation and its cities nothing but mayhem and misery. So, again, thanks, Mr. President, for supporting the police, but if you’d simply stood up to the poisonous rhetoric of your comrades and supporters, this never would have happened.

The rest of the discretionary spending, about $870 billion, includes some gems that the Left will be very happy to see: $2.6 billion to advance gender equity (a term Biden’s budget includes more than 100 times), $100 million to retrofit low-income homes with new appliances, and $17 million for the Interior Department’s diversity program, among other essentials.

Sadly, we could’ve predicted that Biden would try to slip in some of these types of goodies. The Democrats’ agenda has been largely stalled to this point, and this may be their last chance to really muck things up before they lose half or all of Congress in November.

Biden claims that his Bernie budget is middle-of-the-road, and his challenge to Republicans is that they risk political alienation by not coming along. This, of course, is a distortion of the landscape. The Republicans have the higher ground on fiscal matters right now, and they can play to that strength.

On the other hand, Democrats are far from united, and while some may buy the phony claims of fiscal responsibility, “progressives” will no doubt push for more wasteful spending. Biden wants to have it all with this one, but it seems unlikely he will.


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