President Biden has been adding to his Christmas wish list since taking office. After passing a $1.9 Trillion COVID relief spending package, and a $1.2 Trillion infrastructure spending bill, the President turned around and asked Congress for $3.75 Trillion more for his “Build Back Better” plan that House Democrats passed at an albeit shorter but no less dangerous $2.2 Trillion price tag. The President is hoping that the Senate keeps most, if not all, of it but is now running into big roadblocks. Congress is scheduled to be in session for only two weeks as Members of Congress hope to leave town for the Christmas break. The President and Congressional Democrats are trying unsuccessfully so far to ram through a slew of socialist policy changes in the more accurately named “Broke, Bankrupt, Begging” spending bill.
The BBB has caused an uproar in Washington and within the Democrat Party itself. That’s because it contains a massive expansion of the federal government, a series of tax increases on all Americans, and some sweet giveaways for Democrat campaign donors. According to the Americans for Tax Reform analysis, the BBB would result in the “highest personal income tax rate in the developed world: 57.4%” and the “highest capital gains tax rate since the 1970s. ‘The average top marginal combined tax rate on capital gains would be nearly 37 percent,’” along with an $8 billion home heating tax, putting it in violation of “Biden’s middle-class tax pledge to oppose any and all tax hikes on Americans making less than $400k.” It will also add “87,000 new IRS auditors and agents,” resulting in a “50% increase in small business audits,” among other things. The Democrats also want to give their donors a gift this holiday season, as the BBB gives a “$2.5 billion special tax handout for trial lawyers” and a “$1.6 billion special tax handout for media companies of any size.”
Headed into the holiday’s the President is all Jingle Bells in a grinch economy. “We’ve made progress over the last ten months: unemployment is down to 4.6%, wages are rising, disposable income is up, and millions of Americans will be reuniting with their loved ones for Thanksgiving,” the President tweeted the day before Thanksgiving. The sad reality is that, while the labor market has made some progress, it’s still high as the country faces a workers shortage, and wages are rising, but not as fast as inflation, leaving no income to be disposable.
The Labor Department reported that last month wages rose .04%, upon which the President based his tenor. The same report also stated that inflation for the month increased .9%, higher than expected. Which means that, “all told, real average hourly earnings when accounting for inflation, actually decreased 0.5% for the month. So an apparent solid paycheck increase actually turned into a decrease, and another setback for workers still struggling to shake off the effects of the Covid pandemic,” CNBC reported.
Santa knows false advertising when he sees it.
Of course, the real prize on the President’s Christmas list is Democrats keeping the House and Senate in 2022 and for him to win re-election in 2024. That sort of political calculation is what’s really behind President Biden’s move to release 50 million barrels of oil from our “Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” The SPR is meant for emergency situations only, as it has only been done 3 other times before in our history and takes about 13 days to actually hit markets.
Former U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said that Biden’s decision to tap the SPR is a “mistake.” “It’s not a supply emergency, and the only emergency I can … see in this case is a political emergency,” he said. In June, the Biden Administration killed the Trump-approved Keystone XL pipeline project, a major U.S.-Canada oil pipeline that was expected to carry about 830,000 barrels per day in the U.S. Gas prices today are $3.29 a gallon, compared to $2.15 one year ago.
The President thinks he’ll be showering more gifts on his liberal base this Christmas season. But if you ask your friends and neighbors whether or not they think the President is on Santa’s ‘Good List,’ you’ll probably hear a much different tune. Let’s hope Congress doesn’t give it to him and leave Americans holding the bill.
Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action