Has any observer ever witnessed anything like the tax and spend fiasco that is unfolding in Washington? It’s the comedy of errors without any of the comedy, just the punch line, which is that the Democrats will accept any plan, however damaging to the country, that gets them out of town with something on Biden’s desk. Even at its reduced cost number of $1.75 trillion, or whatever it is today, it would be an enormous expansion of entitlement programs and the largest expansion of corporate welfare in history, including over $500 billion in boondoggle climate change projects that lead nowhere in terms of addressing climate change. And it will do nothing for growth in GDP or wages or the worker shortage. Why? As the Wall Street Journal has well noted, “the White House and Fed have deployed the Keynesian policy mix of government spending and easy monetary policy to boost demand. Meanwhile, they have squeezed the supply side with incentives not to work, restrictive mandates, and the promise of more regulation and higher taxes. The result is 5% inflation and supply-chain disruptions that will stretch well into 2022”.
If we want to look a lot like Europe, this plan will get us there pretty quickly. Former Sen. Phil Gramm and his associate Mike Solon wonder, with the Build Back Better Act proposing to explode unearned benefits and redistribute them to middle-income Americans, how long it will take the current U. S. labor-force participation rate of 61.6% to fall to 55%, as in France, or 50%, as in Italy? Probably not very long. Who then will pay for the BBB plan? One thousand billionaires? There aren’t enough of them to fund a month of this nonsense, and that would be gone in short order, as they find legal means to avoid the increased taxes or move offshore.
In a recent speech in the Senate, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has the destruction that would result pretty well pegged: “This administration is creating entitlement programs untethered to work that would fundamentally change incentives for our families, our communities, our society, and our economy, depriving people of their dignity and eroding their ability to provide for themselves and their families.” Of course, she knows that what she describes is exactly what the progressive left wants. And I think she also understands that this issue is not about the numbers, $3.5T vs. $1.75T, or whatever, it’s about the moral corruption underlying it all.