The Manchin moment
In the near future, America will learn if West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is a statesman or just another hack politician.
Manchin has made it clear that he opposes President Biden’s highly partisan and very expensive Reconciliation Bill on the grounds that it is too expensive and includes unacceptable programs. He has also indicated that in view of Biden’s two previous multi-trillion-dollar packages, the federal spending machine should take a pause.
He proposed that Congress and the President wait until the impact of the previous spending be determined before piling on trillions of more dollars that are likely to produce deficits, add to the National Debt and trigger serious inflation.
There is also a problem with the cost of the Reconciliation Bill and how it will be paid for. Most independent analysis of the bill – as it is slowly being revealed – put the actual cost closer to $6 trillion – almost double the $3.5 trillion claimed by the White House. And while Biden claims the cost is paid for, that is simply not true. It is not true by real accounting and by the history of legislation to produce more expenses than promised and less revenue than promised.
Much of the so-called payment is based on increased taxes on corporations. That is a scam. Corporations do not pay taxes; they pass the cost on to the consumer. Taxing corporations is literally a regressive tax on the people.
Manchin also said that he believes that anything of this scale MUST have bipartisan support. It is politically perilous to fundamentally change the foundation of the American economic system, the federal form of government and a successful free-market economy for partisan political gain.
Whether one agrees with Manchin or not, it cannot be denied that he has clearly stated his principles and his concerns. He would not bow to pressure to eliminate the filibuster for the sake of short-term partisan gains. Because of that – and his efforts to reach across the aisle – the Senate was able to pass a trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill that deals with real infrastructure.
Unfortunately, that bill is being held hostage by the House Democrat progressive caucus in order to force passage of the BIG so-called “human infrastructure” bill.
If Manchin – and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema — maintain true to their convictions, Biden’s huge partisan Reconciliation Bill will go down to defeat. If the left-wing Democrats in Congress successfully tie the two bills together – the Infrastructure Bill could fail, too.
That is because the House progressives will not support the Infrastructure Bill until the Senate passes the huge Reconciliation Bill. Manchin has the ability and the reason to not allow the House to blackmail the Senate. Manchin should not allow such legislative skullduggery.
Given the clarity of Manchin’s opinions on the legislation, there is no way he can support the Reconciliation Bill without rejecting his own principles. It means all his statements over the past months were simply lies told for some crass bargaining advantage. Manchin risks losing the integrity of a statesman only to reveal himself as just another partisan hack.
So, there ‘tis.