Ronald Reagan once observed, “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” Democrats COVID relief bill
I thought of that quote when I read some of the details of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that is touted as “COVID relief.” Critics, like Congressman Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), say that it’s a “liberal wish list.”
Minority Leader McCarthy has a better name for it, “The Pelosi Payoff.”
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) February 25, 2021
Scalise is not alone. Many Republican members of the House oppose the bill, observing, “Democrats have been hoping the public’s attention has been occupied watching a made for TV show trial of the former president in the Senate because they’ve been trying to quietly load up a $1.9 trillion budget reconciliation bill with special-interest pork and other liberal goodies.”
The bill proposes a $1400 stimulus check for those who make under $75,000. But the Heritage Foundation observes that there’s a big price tag for that $1400: “It adds over $14,000 per household to the national debt.”
Furthermore, the New York Post observes that less than 1 percent of the total proposed for spending deals directly with COVID per se, such as the distribution of vaccines.
What does this proposed spending include? Per the Wall Street Journal:
- $350 billion for state and local governments and cities and counties, even as state revenues have largely recovered since the spring. Democrats also changed the funding formula to ensure most of the dollars go to blue states that imposed strict economic lockdowns.
- $86 billion to rescue 185 or so multiemployer pension plans insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Managed jointly by employer sponsors and unions
- Elementary and secondary schools get another $129 billion, whether they reopen for classroom learning or not. Higher education gets $40 billion. The CBO notes that since Congress already provided some $113 billion for schools—and as “most of those funds remain to be spent”—it expects that 95% of this new money will be spent from 2022 through 2028.
- Expanding favorite Democratic programs. $35 billion to pump up subsidies to defray ObamaCare premiums. The bill eliminates the existing income cap (400% of the poverty level) on who qualifies for subsidies, and lowers the maximum amount participants are expected to contribute to about 8.5% of their income, down from 10%.
- $15 billion to provide a temporary five percentage-point increase in the federal Medicaid match to states that expand eligibility to lower-income adults (for Obamacare).
- There’s $39 billion for child care; $30 billion for public transit agencies; $19 billion in rental assistance; $10 billion in mortgage help; $4.5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; $3.5 billion for the program formerly known as food stamps; $1 billion for Head Start; $1.5 billion for Amtrak; $50 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency; $4 billion to pay off loans of “socially disadvantaged” farmers and ranchers; and nearly $1 billion in world food assistance.
- The $15 an hour minimum wage, which CBO estimates will cost 1.4 million jobs. The bill increases the child tax credit to $3,000 from $2,000 ($99 billion) and temporarily expands the Earned Income Tax Credit to certain additional childless adults ($25 billion). It eliminates the cap on the rebate that drug makers must pay Medicaid for outpatient drugs. This is a rare provision that increases federal revenue ($16 billion), though only by undermining pharmaceutical innovation.
- Members are also slipping in pork. Our favorite is $1.5 million for the Seaway International Bridge, which connects New York to Canada, for New York Sen. Chuck Schumer. And don’t overlook the nearly $500 million for, as the CBO puts it, “grants to fund activities related to the arts, humanities, libraries, and museums, and Native American language preservation.”
And on it goes.
One man who is happy about all this disbursement is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who said, “We are spending a lot of money….I do think it is appropriate to start taking a hard look at asking the wealthy and large corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes.”
It would seem that the left’s principle of “never let a crisis go to waste” is in full force here.
Where will all this money come from? Likely our grandchildren. No wonder the left likes abortion so much—it causes them to have fewer grandchildren.
Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, gave some strong warnings about our economy: “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’”
Notice in particular what he had to say about governmental debt: “I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements.” [Emphasis added]
In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned against runaway spending and needless debt: “As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.” [Emphasis added]
In other words, during peacetime, the priority should be to pay off war debts. Meanwhile, we should avoid racking up debt.
Indeed, what kind of a country runs up a big bill, spends the money now, and then leaves it up to our children and grandchildren to have to pay it all back? There is nothing ethical about this.
Proverbs 13:22 says “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” In America, we’re now doing the opposite—contrary to what both the Bible and the founders had to say.
Again, Ronald Reagan put it well: “We could say the government spends like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors because the sailors are spending their own money.”
Democrats COVID relief bill
Democrats COVID relief bill