President Joe Biden recently defended his $1.9 trillion COVID bill by asking critics of the plan: “What would they have me cut? What would they have me leave out?” The easier question would be, what’s worth keeping?
The bill is riddled with spending unrelated to the COVID crisis, gifts to big unions, bailouts to states that don’t need them, and bad economic policies. It is, in short, a monument to Democratic-style political corruption bought with money borrowed from our children and grandchildren.
While Democrats claim the need is urgent, almost $700 billion of of the funds won’t get spent until sometime over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
This is particularly true when it comes to money for education and labor – which includes dollars for schools, colleges, child care, and the $15 minimum wage. Less than 10% of the $293 billion thrown at these programs will go out this year, according to the CBO. More than a third won’t get spent until after the next presidential election!
Likewise, two-thirds of $90 billion targeting transportation and infrastructure are stretched out over the next 10 years. And less than half of the $70 billion for things such as “emergency rental assistance,” grants to airlines, and mortgage payment assistance will be spent this year.
What would they have Biden cut? How about cutting all the spending after this year, when the COVID crisis is sure to be over?
Meanwhile, a huge chunk of the bill is for things that are unrelated to COVID. An analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found such goodies as a $58 billion bailout of union pension funds, a $23 billion expansion of the earned income tax credit, $34 billion in expanded Obamacare subsidies, a doubling of the federal minimum wage – which will cost taxpayers $54 billion. All told, the group said $312 billion could be jettisoned without harming actual COVID relief efforts.
That $312 billion figure is being conservative. Democrats want to dump nearly $8 billion to expand broadband access. And $270 million for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, $200 million for the all-important Institute for Library and Museum Services, and $10 million for Native American language preservation. There’s $50 million for “environmental justice” grants.
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