Even before being sworn in as President, Joe Biden talked confidently about his economic vision for America. How he would raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations, but not folks making under $400,000 a year, he said. This is on top of record-breaking spending on COVID relief and economic assistance packages that started last Congress. Eight months into the Biden presidency, we’ve seen more massive spending bills come from the Democrat-controlled Congress, consistently high unemployment, and rising inflation from increased demands for goods and services on regular household items – which hurts middle and low-income earners most. So what are the roadblocks to President Biden’s extreme tax and spend schemes?
Naturally, Republican opposition in Congress is one. To their credit, Republicans have a commendable track record this year in slowing or trimming down President Biden’s plans this year to spend a total of $6 trillion on COVID relief, infrastructure, and an FY2021 budget bill. Despite the Democrat’s ability to use budget reconciliation to essentially pass anything they want in Congress, Republican lawmakers have consistently pushed their weight around.
For starters, they reduced President Biden’s COVID relief bill to $1.9 trillion without voting for it. Next, Republicans offered a slew of amendments to the bipartisan infrastructure deal that ran out the clock on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) floor time. Senate Republicans successfully negotiated the removal of any IRS funding, increased pay-for, and the use of already approved spending. That, coupled with successful adoption of several Republican amendments, brought the bill’s overall price tag down from $2.2 trillion to $1.2 trillion, of which approximately $550 billion is new spending. There is only so much you can control from the minority, especially when the majority party has no qualms about changing long-standing rules and Senate procedures to force through their agenda.
In addition, some of the roadblocks standing in the President’s way are of his own creation or from some within his own party who recognize how senseless it is to keep spending at these levels. Biden’s economic plans and actions taken thus far have ballooned our national debt, hampered economic growth, kept unemployment high, and government benefits outflowing, which has all led to an inflation rate that currently stands at 5.4% according to Moody’s, the highest in nearly thirty years. Moderate Democrats are already concerned about their 2022 re-election prospects.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) recently expressed “serious concerns” regarding the $3.5 trillion price tag of the proposed budget reconciliation bill. “Given the current state of the economic recovery, it is simply irresponsible to continue spending at levels more suited to respond to a Great Depression or Great Recession – not an economy that is on the verge of overheating,” he added.
Esteemed budget analyst and senior fellow at American Enterprise Institute Desmond Lachman recently wrote, “By seeming to have thrown caution to the winds in his budget policy, President Biden risks paying a heavy political price at next year’s mid-term elections and learning a new how difficult it is to tame the inflation beast.”
Fortunately for the American people, Biden’s radical tax and spend schemes have hit some roadblocks in Congress, and now it looks like many more lay on the path before him, including AMAC Action’s team of activists across the country and the American people in general who realize that the spending in Washington is out of control, raising taxes at any level will hurt America’s small business at the worst possible time, and dividing Americans for political gain as the country works to get back on solid economic footing is not the right path forward.
Bob Carlstrom is the President of AMAC Action.