What game is Sen. Joe Manchin playing? A week after calling to “hit the pause button” on Democrats’ bid for $3.5 trillion in new social spending, he’s reportedly saying he might be OK with up to $1.5 trillion.
This is on top of the $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill that is largely his baby, now awaiting House approval.
Even cut down, this splurge would still hobble the economy, as Manchin himself outlined last week in The Wall Street Journal: “Over the past 18 months, we’ve spent more than $5 trillion responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Now Democratic congressional leaders propose to pass the largest single spending bill in history with no regard to rising inflation, crippling debt or the inevitability of future crises.”
Now the West Virginia Democrat is willing to bend part way — an open invitation for bargaining that’s all too likely to wind up far above what he today says is acceptable.
Fine: He wants the $1.5 trillion in social spending to be “paid for,” meaning no new borrowing. But he knows perfectly well that Congress routinely “covers” new outlays with various fictional assumptions.
And even if it doesn’t do so this time, that means hefty tax hikes that also slam the economy. The Senate blueprint for the bill includes boosting rates on individuals and corporations, which would stifle business investment, slow the economy and bring the nation back to Obama-era stagnation, with the working class in particular losing ground.
Maybe Manchin is just giving the left some reason for hope, so the likes of The Squad don’t torpedo his infrastructure bill out of spite. Otherwise, he’s just bargaining over how hard to hit an economy still struggling to get back to boom times.
A trillion here, a trillion there, and the progressive loons will still spend America into disaster.
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/09/08/joe-manchin-may-bargain-the-nation-into-bankruptcy-yet/ on .