If Democrats are good at anything, it's sticking taxpayers with the bill for their reckless spending. The routine is getting all too familiar: they lie about the contents to get their bill passed, greet popular outrage with contempt, lose the next election spectacularly, but sit back gratified -- knowing what they've done to transform America will never be undone. ObamaCare, anyone? Ten years later, House Democrats have passed another bill that dwarfs ObamaCare in both page count and price tag -- and the Senate might be dangerously on the verge of passing it.
The Democrats' Build Government Bigger spending package narrowly passed the House Friday morning 220-213, with only one Democrat joining all the Republicans in opposing it. From there it heads to the Senate, where Democrats plan to use the reconciliation process to pass the bill with only 51 votes -- if they can find them.
The colossal spending package would body-slam an American economy still struggling to its feet from the pandemic. "Two million more workers will exit the workforce because of the spending in here," warned Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) on "Washington Watch." Spend more money, reduce production -- it's a prime recipe for inflation, even if it doesn't directly raise energy costs.
The bill is a radical wish list, from climate change spending to expanding Obamacare, from amnesty for illegal immigrants to increased business taxes. The largest ticket item is a government takeover of child care that drives up the cost and bans "faith-based child care facilities from participating," Brady explained. "It is a direct challenge on religious freedom." Then there are estimates that the true cost of the bill, ignoring accounting tricks, will be closer to $5 trillion over 10 years -- on top of the trillions Democrats have already committed us to this year.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) originally scheduled the vote for Thursday night to satisfy a handful of Democrats who insisted on waiting for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to score the bill (not that they ultimately cared what it said). Despite including major tax hikes in the bill, the CBO estimated the bill would add a whopping $367 billion to the deficit -- a far cry from Joe Biden's "zero dollar" whopper in September. Of course, the White House thought it could make up the difference by sending IRS hounds after $400 billion in unpaid taxes -- but the CBO estimated they could collect only $207 billion, leaving a $160 billion-dollar gap. "Did anyone really think it would pay for itself?" asked Brady.
Nobody believed that, not even the White House, who repeatedly claimed the bill would cost nothing. To get ahead of what they assumed would be a bad score from the CBO, they started discrediting the estimate beforehand, claiming that the "CBO does not have experience" to figure out their math. It was a clever strategy -- but a dishonest one. As NRO's Jim Geraghty pointed out:
"For much of the fall, Joe Biden, members of his administration, and congressional Democrats lied to you. They lied to you because they think you're stupid. They lied to you because they think you can't do math and you don't understand taxes, government spending, or debt. They lied to you because they believe that you don't want to think too hard about all of those numbers, that you just want to get more free stuff from the government, and that you'll believe somebody else will pay for it."
The latest polling, though, shows that the American people aren't stupid. (It also shows that moderate Democrats like Joe Manchin, W.Va., aren't either." In the latest Politico numbers, a solid majority of Americans -- 52 percent -- oppose Biden's spending-palooza. In West Virginia, home of the senator who can single-handedly stop it, that number is even higher: 61 percent. "Nearly a third of voters said that 'inflation and cost of living' was the most important issue, while 96 percent of voters said they had personally seen price increases across all four districts."
And yet, Democrats stubbornly charged forward anyway. Although, thanks to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), it took a lot longer than he thought. Thanks to his marathon protest, which lasted a record 8 hours and 42 minutes, Americans got a good lesson in how Democrats have stripped away most rights of the minority party and are railroading this country with their unpopular goodie bag of radicalism. Most Americans, 59 percent, believe "people like me" will pay for the Democrats' spending spree -- not the wealthiest, as Biden promised (the bill actually includes a tax-cut for blue-state elites). But Democrats will face a reckoning for their reckless spending in the midterms regardless.