Bargain? “Pared down?” Hardly. This Democrat “reconciliation” bill is the biggest power grab in American history, a $1.75 Trillion takeover of multiple economic sectors, stripping Americans of cornerstone rights. Text of HR 5376 was released on October 28. It is 1,449 pages. It is an outrage.
Laziness causes few to review details. Having spent hours on this “Build Back America” bill, my brain is swimming. It is mind-numbing, offensive, more like “Beat Down America,” a liberty-crippling march to irreversible federal control – and intentional socialist manipulation – of citizens and the private sector.
Sample provisions make the point. Hundreds of unthinkable provisions, filling 10 PDF files, would shock Americans. Here are some of the hidden excesses and pretenses to power. See, 2021 Budget Rec 2. A full reading takes half a day.
Title One, directed at remaking America’s “Agriculture” sector, includes Tens of billions of taxpayer dollars for “vegetation management,” undefined “carbon management” (which trees do without federal direction), mandatory “ecological integrity” (undefined), preservation of “at-risk species” (undefined), “carbon storage” (again trees do that, no federal spending needed), “non-lethal activities and tactics to reduce human-wildlife conflicts” (for example between deer and hunters, hunter reeducation).
The title includes: “Decommissioning” of roads in national parks, billions of dollars for “monitoring non-Federal land” (like your backyard), “climate mitigation,” money for “underserved forest landowners” (is that forest owners with too few saws, or too few trees?, billions in “competitive grants” for (I kid you not) “tree equity” (Sec. 11003 (a), (2)), vast sums for “underserved populations” (presumably not trees), plus mandatory “non-federal cost-sharing” (in other words, you pay with BOTH state and federal taxes).
Billions more go to “underutilized renewable energy technologies,” industrial policy preempting the free market (supply and demand) for federal direction, including pages mandating production and refueling of electric vehicles (without reference, by the way, to where all that electricity originates).
This is Section 12006, which adds replacing “home heating oil” with “biodiesel” (ironically requiring mass-energy for production, anti-environmental side effects, corn from food needs, raising energy prices, and requiring environmental water remediation). See, e.g., WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH BIO DIESEL?.
Compounding the nonsensical title, free money is given to “non-profit or for-profit” entities under Section 12008 (a), (3), (A) (2). Under section 12102 (C), national “Equity Commissions” are set up, funded by tens of millions, resolving “racial equity issues” within Agriculture, 750 million handed to farmers who “experienced discrimination.”
Billions more go to “remodeling” agricultural research facilities (no doubt, green curtains, and solar-powered ergonomic chairs). Special money goes to “Alaskan Native,” “Native Hawaiian,” and “Hispanic-serving” institutions, plus – for some reason – the District of Colombia. That is Subtitle D.
Subtitle E adds giveaways for “frontline grocery workers,” on account of COVID-19, with later sections scattering open-ended money to “mitigate climate change” in billions, like feeding park pigeons.
Go to Title Two, “Education and Labor,” more dangerous nonsense. Billions are directed to the “survival and continuing vitality of Native American languages” in Section 20006, subsequent subsections deferring educational loan repayments (including by illegal aliens), billions to “students of color,” plus first-generation college, countless other free money categories.
Any “entity” (not just schools) can get money for undefined educational activities. While Critical Race Theory (CRT) and transgender attacks on Title IX (girls’ sports) are not mentioned by name, the shoe fits. Anything goes, from “furniture” funding to faculty training and tuition. Mention these are your dollars?
Stunningly, although separately, federal power is used to punish companies under OSHA regulations by boosting fines ten-fold; for example, what was $7,000 is now a $70,000 penalty, and they can be personal.
A universal, “free” federal “birth through five childcare and early learning entitlement” is created, effectively federalizing early education of children, incentivizing and coercing the parental transfer authority to universal government control over education at that age, plus setting national child care wage rates, federal remodeling, “monitoring” of federalized childcare – and “universal preschool.
This is just the first of 10 PDF sections, the next creating a huge “National Service” for “Climate Mitigation,” on par with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s (by contrast temporary) mid-Depression “Civilian Conservation Corps,” bigger and permanent. Incredibly, at a time when the private sector is desperate for labor, this bill sucks added labor into federally underwritten “climate-related” hiring.
Title Three mandates “zero-emission vehicles,” twisting the private sector, putting supply-demand under federal direction, paying “100 percent of costs” for contractors who submit, and creating a vast federal slush fund. “Disadvantaged communities” get billions in direct aid to go along.
Bizarrely, Section 30107 adds billions to mitigate “air pollution in schools,” nowhere validated but assumed – then adds extra for schools in “disadvantaged communities.” In 30112, the informer mentality is transposed to “greenhouse gas corporate reporting” in the name of “climate justice.”
As if Obamacare were not distortion enough, Democrats sneak into this title– another push to federalize health care with more “Affordable Health Care Coverage,” in Section 30601, a mass giveaway.
Net-net, countless socialist titles make this bill the outrage of the century, integration of anti-bias and related (CRT-type) training into everything from maternal care to employment. It federalizes multiple sectors, imposing mandates that make current vaccine mandates seem downright trivial.
On top of redefining America, remaking the federal energy, transportation, education, labor, healthcare, and countless other sectors, it spends money no one has on what no one wants, driving permanent inflation, economic weakness, slowing growth, effectively stealing wealth and socializing the nation.
Net-net, this bill is as anti-American, anti-liberty, anti-constitutional as any drafted. Hundreds of sections and subsections – a mind-numbing collection of power-concentrating, debt-creating, intolerable provisions – reduce this Democrat dreamboat to one, simple word: Outrage. It must be defeated.
Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.