A certain measure of laughter and celebration followed an announcement by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Crazy Bernie Caucus, that “the bipartisan bill is not happening tonight.” It is great fun to watch the Dim party in disarray, after all. Unfortunately, that announcement is more than likely a temporary delay, as Jayapal’s other remarks gave a much clearer view of the big picture.
Jayapal also insisted that President Biden is “going to stay very involved” in moving negotiations forward, saying that “if we are going to think about anything less than the number what we would rather do is get as many things in as possible” and “shorten” timelines.
The operative phrase here is “shorten timelines.” Therein lies the solution to the problems that have divided the so-called moderate wing from the communist wing of the party. What Jayapal and her communist pals seek to do is simply shrink the initial investment in their giant expansion of the welfare state, thereby giving ‘moderates’ the lower price tag they want while seeding government programs that will be very hard to remove in the future, as entitlement programs typically are. The thing about entitlement spending is it takes courage to cut, and most politicians fear ad campaigns that inform voters of who took away their goodies, or who promises to in the future. Ever consumed with self-preservation like the cowards they are, very few congressmen use the power of the nation’s purse to balance the checkbook.
A shortened timeline is meaningless when future funding is all but a rubber stamp. The Bernie Caucus know that quite well. Thus, the final destination of this political theater is a compromise in which the Overton window has been moved to a point that so-called moderates can claim to have been a restraint on runaway spending; akin to a retail store marking up items 300% before their whopping 70% off sale. We can’t afford many of these ‘discounts.’
Moving forward, counter-messaging must consist of two main points:
1) The number is still massive (we know it will be at least $1.5 trillion, more likely around $2 trillion)
2) The economy sucks and it’s about to get worse, thanks to every single Democrat
In regards to the second point, Rep. Jayapal has served us a head start, if we’re willing to use it:
“I think the President is going to stay very involved he has been really involved for the last several days he’s not always out in front of the cameras but, but he has I know he has been doing really hard work and been really involved and I expect that he will continue because don’t forget, this is the President’s agenda.“
Oh, we won’t. And neither will any of the Republicans challenging ‘moderate’ Dims in swing districts. The reason there is division in the Dim party is not everyone represents coastal hipsters and limousine liberals. Some must go home to actual Americans, who don’t like it when you behave like a communist in their name. The infrastructure bill is one thing. While expensive and of course largely wasteful, it tackles projects that many people want to see funded. Improved internet access in rural areas, for example. The $3.5 trillion (probably ending up about $2 trillion) Santa Claus bill is a much harder sell in middle America.
It’s fortunate that the Squad are keen to remind everyone that this is the Biden agenda. His handlers have truly done their job. But now there is explaining to do, Biden has repeatedly stated that his tax package would not increase taxes on people earning less than $400,000 per year.
Under the proposal, taxes would go up for families bringing home $50,000 or more per year, far below what Biden promised.
The official scorekeepers at the Joint Committee on Taxation show that the Build Back Better Act would in fact raise taxes on middle-income Americans.
And how about the Internal Revenue Service? If there’s any government agency more beloved than the IRS, why, I’d like to see it.
The bill would give the IRS a lump sum payment of $79 billion, which it would be allowed to spend over the next decade on undefined “strengthening tax enforcement activities and increasing voluntary compliance, expanding audits and other enforcement activities.”
So they’re going to fund more aggressive tax collection while not saying how. Very reassuring. And something that swing voters may want to know. It is incumbent upon us to tell them.
The BBB Act would would effectively create a slush fund six times the IRS’ entire annual budget. The IRS had a $13 billion budget in 2021, including $5 billion for nearly 35,000 enforcement agents. Now the number of agents will be doubled and their funding increased by a factor of six. Does anyone with a room temperature IQ believe these agents will only hound the super rich? — not that it would be somehow more moral.
Biden has even proposed requiring financial institutions to report to the IRS on the activities of every financial account with $600 or more, a major invasion of privacy. It would impose billions of dollars in costs that will have a disproportionately adverse impact on small financial institutions, much of which will be borne by consumers. While it isn’t a part of the Ways and Means bill yet, some senators have discussed including it.
I’m willing to bet that there are a lot of everyday Americans who don’t want the IRS snooping on their bank accounts every time they engage in a transaction of $600 or more.
Jayapal tipped the hand of the ‘progressives’ in Congress. They’re going to lower the price tag by cutting the initial investments of their myriad government programs. But they, as well as anyone else who has been paying attention to government since, well, ever know that government programs are hard to shut down once established.
But this is far from over. The Dim party is effectively under control of the Squad, and while that is very bad for America, it could be very good for Republicans. With inflation, higher gas prices and weakness projected overseas, Biden needed badly to show that he could get a handle on the kooks in his ranks and accomplish some basic governance. He has failed to do that, and is now doubling down on the same type of agenda that everyone but the most partisan leftists can see is a disaster.
If the election system is rigged, Congress has managed to survive it. Republicans have held their own over the past several years math-wise and are primed for a big showing in the midterms. There is a consensus growing within the political ranks that a repeat of 2010 or 2014 could be in the midst.
It is far from decided whether Manchin and–who I believe to be the least likely to crack, Sinema–will make passage of any version of the Build Back Better Act possible. But if the worst case scenario happens, meaning the bill is passed, it does represent an opportunity to clean house in 2022. That may be of little solace to those who are disillusioned with where we are as a country–and I can hardly blame you–but in the end this is about power. We have an avenue in which to take it.
Biden’s support among Hispanics in the southwest is a little over 30%. That is a terrifying stat to Dim strategists. The Virginia governor’s race is extremely competitive and it shouldn’t be. The right way/wrong way polling in terms of the country’s direction has moved to over 60/40 in the wrong direction.
Yes, we can absolutely win. And we should. The narrative has been handed to us on a silver platter and has the advantage of being true. Americans have a choice between Marxist kooks and normal Americans. Crude as it may be, that is and must be the binary choice leading into 2022. It’s choosing time. Ensure that your neighbor understands his options.
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