by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If there was ever any doubt about whether Republicans should abandon the ridiculous charade of the allegedly bipartisan infrastructure bill, Tuesday night’s news should obliterate it. Senate Democrats have announced that in addition to the sham of a bipartisan agreement, they are also moving ahead with a separate $3.5 trillion package on a purely partisan basis containing every liberal wish list item but the kitchen sink.
The AP reports:
“Senate Democrats announced Tuesday that they have reached a budget agreement among themselves that envisions spending an enormous $3.5 trillion over the coming decade. The fiscal plan would pave the way for Democrats’ drive to direct a huge pool of federal resources at climate change, health care and family-service programs sought by President Joe Biden.” …
… To be clear, the plan would have Democrats ram this bill through while also expecting Republicans to vote for another infrastructure bill with nearly $600 billion in new spending. So in total, we are talking about $4.1 trillion in new spending.
The underlying spending being considered is bad on the merits, but it is completely irresponsible at a time when the U.S. is facing the largest debt as a share of the economy in its history — surpassing even World War II. It is absurd when the economy, which has already had $6 trillion worth of government infusions since the spring of 2020, is clearly recovering from the pandemic as the economy reopens — and when inflation is increasingly worrisome. Meanwhile, with the Medicare system already driving the long-term debt problem due to the increased retirement-age population and rising health care costs, the legislation would recklessly expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing services.
If Senator Joe Manchin wants to go along with this insanity, Democrats have the power to ram through much of their agenda on a partisan basis. But Republicans should do absolutely nothing to grease the wheels of this abomination by giving it the imprimatur of bipartisanship.