The challenge, as Rudyard Kipling noted, is to keep your head while those about you are losing theirs. House Democrats just passed a “socialist manifesto.” The 1,815-page bill is a repository of modern spending madness, filled with things most Americans do not want, would not pay for, and will not abide. It is a gamble to buy votes.
So off-the-mark is Pelosi’s $3 trillion bill that, despite whip pressure, Democrats bolted. What they saw was the opposite of limited government, fiscal responsibility, preservation of individual liberties, restraint on taxes, lower federal debt, reasonable and tailored coronavirus relief.
As Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) said: “Unfortunately, many Members of Congress — including some in my own party — have decided to use this package as an opportunity to make political statements and propose a bill that goes far beyond pandemic relief and has no chance at becoming law, further delaying the help so many need.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Congressman Joe Cunningham (D-SC), who bemoaned the mess. “Now is not the time to advance a partisan wish list or refuse to come to the negotiating table,” adding the bill was “Washington politics at its worst.”
Pelosi’s gamble – rolling out a socialist agenda – is that money promised to people in distress will cause them to abandon principle, forget limited government, lose confidence in themselves, and buy-into an all-powerful federal government. For myself, I think she loses that gamble.
Since Republicans need only flip 17 seats to re-take the House, she is hoping Americans do not ask where the money comes from, do not care about incalculable debt, and are willing to betray the future for themselves.
It is a crude, low bet – and yet – she could win. If Americans forget what we stand for, why we believe in limited government, how much we value individual liberties, and why over-centralization is destructive and hard to reverse, the country could tip left.
On this bill, Pelosi was condescending to her own caucus. She thinks people will grab the money, allowing her to grab more power, leaving the future to fend for itself. She rebuked House Democrats for resisting the Turkish Delight: “If you vote against this funding for your state, then you have to go home and defend it …and if you can defend that no vote, then you’re a better politician than me.” In short, do as I say or face my ire.
What is in the bill? The real question is what is not in the bill? It is a bowling ball on the scale, no sense of fiscal responsibility, grown-up trade-offs, or connection to reality. In 1,815 pages – six hundred more than Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace – the bill offers no chance in war or peace.
Three trillion dollars is a 3 followed by 12 zeros, number of seconds in 94,638 years, half the miles in a light year, more than the nation’s entire federal debt in all years prior to 1990.
Entitled “The Heroes Act” this manifesto would offend Democrats from Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, and John Kennedy to Senators Ed Muskie, Scoop Jackson, and Sam Nunn. It is a “give-away, take-away” bill, with $875 billion to bail out mismanaged states and localities, most run by Democrats. This is not rhetoric. The bill blurs the line between coronavirus expenses and longstanding debt issues, just as Pelosi blurred the distinction between legal and illegal immigration to up-fund sanctuary cities.
Democrat-led states like New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, and Hawaii are looking for debt relief from low-debt states, such as South Dakota, Nebraska, Tennessee, Nevada, Florida, Wyoming, North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, Arizona, and Oklahoma.
The slight-of-hand is so obvious as to be embarrassing, except that socialism is shameless in redistributing wealth by state and individual. New Jersey, Kentucky, Illinois, Connecticut have pension plans funded at one-third value. They have ignored spending cuts, incurred mass debt, put off hard decisions. Why should hard-working Iowa, Nebraska or Missouri farmers, oil workers in Texas, North Dakota or Oklahoma fix bad decisions in Illinois and New Jersey?
The Pelosi bill gives three-quarters of a billion to Washington DC, ten million to the National Endowment of Arts, another million to study “disinformation” on coronavirus. The bill dumps Trump’s tax cuts, allowing high-tax Democrat states to escape limitations on federal tax deductions.
It awards $25 million to migrant farm workers that the New York Times calls “mostly undocumented.” It gives $1.7 billion to “minority serving institutions,” more subsidies to Obamacare, offers $10,000 in debt relief for educational loans. It gives $50 million to EPA for “environmental justice” – whatever that is, mandates environmental regulations, adds $75 billion to federal housing assistance.
In the most audacious grab, ignoring or embracing vote fraud – it imposes “mandatory early voting for every state and mandatory mail-in- ballots for every state.” As Republicans on the Oversight Committee noted, that creates a “nightmare scenario for voter fraud.”
Objectionable provisions are many. Crafted in secret – hallmark of socialism – the bill has “70 appropriations in excess of a billion dollars each,” pushes illegal drugs and what House Republican Whip Steve Scalise called “billions of dollars for taxpayer-funded abortions, stimulus payments to illegal aliens…” and “misguided priorities.”
A full critique would take days. We now know Democrats will push this fall – a repository of spending madness, things most Americans do not want, would not pay for, and cannot abide. When those around you are losing their heads, keep yours. This Pelosi coronavirus bill is nonsense; the real relief bill will come from the Senate, when needed.