As of this writing on Friday morning, the House just passed the massive $1.75 trillion “Build Back Bankruptcy” bill, 220-213.
I’ll spare you all the usual balloon juice from Nancy Pelosi about the wondrous, historic things it will do for Americans once the people who voted for it find out what’s actually in it, because now it goes back to the Senate where the real fight recommences. The Dems have tortured the term “reconciliation bill” to try to turn a massive piece of transformative leftwing government bloat into a simple budget bill that isn’t subject to a filibuster. The parliamentarian should have shut that garbage down from day one. Now, we have to rely on Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to protect America. If it does pass in some form, it will go back to the House again.
While House Democrats voting to spend trillions we don’t have and greatly expand government power was never really in doubt, there were a couple of interesting side notes to the vote. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy deserves a golden box of Sucrets as an award for his record-setting 8-hour, 32-minute speech, ripping this monstrosity to shreds.
He called it “the single most reckless and irresponsible spending bill in our nation’s history,” one that will worsen inflation, harm the long term economy and introduce a large degree of socialism into America. He also called the Democrats “out of touch” with the needs and wishes of ordinary Americans, adding, "Never in American history has so much been spent at one time. Never in American history will so many taxes be raised and so much borrowing be needed to pay for all this reckless spending."
All of that is true, and of course, the Democrats voted for it anyway. But while you can’t talk sense into some people, you can accomplish what McCarthy did: he talked so long that the Democrats went home, blocking them from passing this in the dead of night, as they usually do with unpopular, radical spending bills, and forcing them to vote on record in the bright light of morning when everyone was watching. That will make it much easier to remember this day when you go into the polling places next November.
Some other interesting gamesmanship came from the report on the cost of the bill from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Democrats loudly touted an early leak claiming the CBO found that the bill would reduce the deficit. But it turned out that was just about the part that raises taxes. When the full CBO report came out and said it would add $367 billion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years, not counting the potential revenues from a sure-to-be-wildly-popular IRS crackdown on taxpayers, the Dems turned on a dime and started dismissing the CBO’s assessment as meaningless.
The CBO was rightly skeptical of claims that all the new taxes and IRS crackdowns in the bill would raise taxes enough to pay for it, or that much of the cost would be offset by eliminating waste and fraud. Rich people can always find ways to avoid high taxes, and those are usually ways that involve pulling income out of productive, job-creating investments which depresses economic growth so that tax revenues fall across the board.
As for “eliminating waste and fraud,” that’s hilarious! How many times have politicians dangled that one in front of us over the years, like Lucy fooling Charlie Brown into trying to kick that football one more time (he should’ve kicked Lucy instead, the way we should kick politicians out of office who promise to eliminate waste and fraud and then go to DC and vote for more of it.)
Is there anyone dumb enough to believe that Democrats will pay for trillions in new spending by “eliminating waste and fraud”? I hear that these days, when you join the Democratic Party, you get a membership card, an autographed picture of AOC and a T-Shirt that says “I (Heart) Waste and Fraud.”