Thursday, March 18, 2021 : By Nathan Skates
The gargantuan $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill is the epitome of government waste and political posturing, as it includes orders of magnitude more funding for Democratic projects and special interest groups than it does for COVID relief.
President Joe Biden last week signed the highly partisan bill, which passed Congress despite receiving no votes from Republicans. Members of the GOP are outraged at the spending package, calling it a “slush fund” that rewards Democratic supporters rather than addressing COVID-19 relief.
To pay for the bill, the Biden administration on Monday floated their plans for the first major federal tax hike in nearly three decades, stating that they hope to raise anywhere from $2 to $4 trillion by reversing parts of Trump’s signature tax cut legislation and by increasing the tax rate on corporations and high earners.
Critics are right to be upset with the new spending package as a mere 9 percent of the bill directly pertains to COVID-19 relief and vaccine distribution.
Among the controversial provisions of the COVID bill are:
The most well-known aspect of the bill is the $1,400 “stimulus” check that Americans who make under $75,000 per year or $150,000 as a couple will receive. But critics claim the other provisions will cost each of these same Americans nearly $6,000 in future taxes.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said, “We warn people on the Internet about email scams, like the ones with those emails where you get a promise you’ll get millions of dollars. But first you have to wire them some money. It’s exactly what’s happening here today.”
He added, “They’re telling the American public, first, give me $5,000. I know you have to work harder. But … because this is how socialism works, the Democrats are now going to decide who should get that money. And you know what, at least they give it to the people they respect the most.”
McCarthy continued his criticism by asking,
“Will this help the people get back to work? Nope. Will this help students get back in the classroom? Nope. But will it help vaccines get those who want it? Nope. But will it help take care of 92 percent of San Francisco’s budget deficit? Oh yes, it will. Yes, it will. It just throws out money without accountability, even though there are a trillion dollars sitting there right now that have already been appropriated.”
The congressman is referring to the billions of dollars going to state and local governments even though funding provided last year has more than made up for any shortfalls. Critics cite that this spending measure will reward states that imposed draconian restrictions and tanked their own economy.
Democrats parroted the “help is on the way” talking point in near unison. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said, “Thankfully the misers are no longer in charge and help is on the way.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, melodramatically trumpeted, “The January 6 insurrectionists did not win. The American government, the people of the United States, won with a Democratic government that has come to the rescue with the American Rescue Plan.”
Standing for Freedom Takeaway
House Speaker Pelosi, D-Calif., said before the vote, “This legislation is one of the most transformative and historic bills any of us will ever have the opportunity to support.” She is right: This bill is transformative but not in a good way. It reinforces dependence on government, rewards political allies, and lumps tax increases and crippling debt on the American people.
Democrats have magnanimously portrayed themselves as the saviors of the American people while heaping praise on each other for passing the legislation. This stands in stark contrast to America’s founding, which emphasized rugged individualism and independence from the government.
When President Franklin Roosevelt kicked off the age of the welfare state, the newly created alphabet agencies and programs were supposedly intended to lift the U.S. out of the Great Depression, yet decades later these government programs persist. Whether it be President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs or Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society,” government assistance does far more harm than good, creating a populace dependent on the government, which is funded by the taxpayer.
It was not FDR’s programs that got the U.S. out of the Great Depression, it was World War II. Ironically, as McCarthy pointed out, fighting the four years of World War II, when adjusted for inflation, cost U.S. taxpayers $4.8 trillion, while legislation to combat the year-long COVID-19 pandemic has cost nearly $6 trillion.
The behemoth legislation and Democrat’s comments reveal their mindset. Democrats want to reward themselves and their cronies and position themselves as the all-powerful and benevolent caretaker of the American people.
Let us not forget, though, that Democrats held up COVID legislation last year to prevent President Trump from securing a “win.” Congress could have simply written a bill to send COVID-relief only to Americans in the form of direct payments and it would have passed easily, but because of their ridiculous demands for a liberal wish list of items that had nothing to do with the pandemic, no relief was provided when a locked down America really could have used some relief. The Democratic Party has shown it is willing to hold the American people hostage in order to implement its sweeping initiatives.
This bill is a disaster, and as long as Democrats control the legislative and executive branches, they will continue to ram through legislation to “help” America, which can be defined as increasing the size and power of the state while simultaneously diminishing the individual.
As President Ronald Reagan famously observed, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’”