Why Manchin needs to stop Biden’s budget busting bill
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has expressed his reservations over President Biden’s humongous Social Welfare Reconciliation Bill. He appears to have had some success in cutting the size of the Bill in half – to approximately $1.7 trillion from the opening bid of $3.5 trillion. And even that was less than the $6 trillion fantastical proposal by such radical socialists as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Incidentally, calling them socialists is not a gratuitous insult. They officially declare themselves to be Socialist Democrats.)
Let us assume, for a moment, that Biden’s budget busting Bill actually passes at $1.7 trillion. That means he and his lockstep Democrats will have voted to spend more than $5.5 trillion in just the first 11 months of Biden’s presidency.
It was not until the late 1980s that the entire federal budget crossed the one trillion-dollar line – and that would double the $500 billion federal budget just six years earlier in 1979. You can see the meteoric rise of federal spending starting at the end of the Twentieth Century. The graph at the top of this commentary – put out by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis — should scare the hell out of any person with a modicum of fiscal knowledge and responsibility.
There are two additional observations to be made in examining the graph. You will notice President Clinton produced the only budget with a surplus – nothing added to the National Debt in modern times. That ended with the advent of President Bush II.
The second noteworthy period is the greatest gap between Federal income (revenues) and expenditures came during President Obama’s tenure – largely due to the stimulus money flowing into the economy during the recession.
This particular graph does not bring the numbers up to date, but we do know that the projected figures (dotted lines) are wrong. In the second graph (right) you can see that in more recent years there is again a widening gap between revenues and expenditures – largely due to again stimulating the economy with tons of cash. This time it was the imposed shutdown (recession) due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
If you look at 2021, you will see that the gap between federal revenues and expenditures is the widest ever – with $4.5 trillion spent and only $2.7 trillion dollars in income. That is a $1.8 trillion shortfall – meaning borrowed money to be paid back by future generations. That is until we each the point succinctly described by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when she said, “The problem with socialism (and yes we are talking about socialism) is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
As bad as all that has been, the Biden plans to repeatedly pour money into the economy is on an unprecedented scale. It is not only scaring the economists and the business community – it is already having dire impacts on the economy. One of those is called “inflation.”
Biden is using economy flimflams to sell the program. It was said that the $3.5 trillion dollars would provide for the next ten years. Much of the reduction in the cost that brought the price tag down to $1.7 trillion – if that is what it winds up at – is by shortening the length of the programs – some to just one year. That means that the ANNUAL expenditure is about the same as the $3.5 trillion budget.
Democrats well understand that once a federal program is in place, it is damn near impossible to end it. They are counting on Congress extending those programs when they come up for review. That means that the programs – over the next ten years — will ACTUALLY cost the $3.5 trillion – or more – that was in the initial proposal. And even worse, each of those programs will become more and more costly EXPONENTIALLY as the years go by – as has all other federal programs.
In addition, most of these programs will fall under what has become known and accepted as “entitlement programs” – meaning that they MUST be funded year-after-year. They are what are known as “off-budget expenditures.” If you accept that the off-budget line items are truly untouchable, more than 20 percent – and growing — of annual federal expenditures are beyond the reach of Congress. They simply must be paid. That is why we have a Social Security crisis. That is why we have a Medicare/Medicaid crisis.
It is important to understand that off-budget expenditures were not an original concept. For the first 148 years from the 1789 Constitution that created the modern Republic, there were no off-budget items. Furthermore, most of the social welfare was left to the states. The first off-budget expenditures were the creature of President Roosevelt’s New Deal – the step onto the slippery slope of massive federal government spending and seizure of the responsibilities of the several states.
Roosevelt created the run-away economic train that has been coming closer and closer to economic disaster for a future generation.
Instead of slowing down – or even reversing the direction – Biden is placing Uncle Sam’s foot on the accelerator. The inevitable crash will come a bit sooner. But no matter. Those who have engineered the programs – and who have benefited from that while pushing the cost on future generations – will all be dead when the disaster they created comes to pass.
In short, the federal budgeting, taxing and spending method is a huge Ponzi Scheme – in which more and more money is extracted from fewer and fewer people – with today’s payoff dependent on confiscating more and more income from folks who are not even born yet. The tyranny of taxation without representation on steroids.
That is why Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Kristen Sinema and others must vote DOWN Biden’s Build Back BIGGER legislation. It does not need to be reduced or tweaked. It needs to be defeated … period.
So, there ‘tis.