Opinion / Politics

As Americans Pinch Pennies, the White House Spends Freely

The White House

Families across America are watching their bank accounts with growing concern. Prices are increasing from the gas pump to the grocery store aisle and everywhere in between. Wages, on the other hand, aren’t increasing anywhere near fast enough to keep pace.

That’s textbook inflation, and unfortunately, it appears it’s going to weigh on our economy for the foreseeable future.

But while everyday Americans are pinching pennies to stretch their paychecks further and further, one group is on a spending spree the likes of which we’ve rarely seen in our history. No, it’s not the cryptocurrency millionaire next door… it’s the federal government.

The most prominent example of today’s free-spending feds is the Biden infrastructure bill, a roughly $1 trillion package intended to spark a long-overdue and much-needed wave of investment in America’s crumbling infrastructure.

It sounds good on paper, and indeed, the bipartisan bill has earned support from a majority of Americans polled – despite the weeks of chaos and embarrassing infighting that preceded passage as Democrats worked to wrangle voting blocs across the ideological spectrum within their own party.

Supporters of the bill contend its passage will help address the growing wave of inflation that’s plaguing American families. That’s a very tough sell, but maybe, in a vacuum, one could make the pitch with a straight face. (Though I can’t say I’d bite on that pitch.)

Investment in infrastructure is certainly a good thing for our nation, and down the road, it’s possible that the jobs and economic activity generated by this type of investment could benefit families. But make no mistake: It will be a long, long time before these benefits are felt in any of the households hurting today.

Put another way, the bill doesn’t do much to blunt the pain so many are facing today. And as we watch prices at the pump continue to soar, it’s also worth noting that the infrastructure bill is funded in part by the sale of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It’s difficult to reconcile the use of SPR oil as a pay-for while at the same time hearing calls from Democratic senators like Chuck Schumer to tap into the SPR as a means of immediately addressing high gas prices.

Unfortunately, policy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And the stunning fact of the matter is this infrastructure bill – at more than a trillion dollars – is only a drop in the bucket when it comes to the Biden White House’s broader spending wish list.

The administration and its allies in Congress pushed relentlessly to advance negotiations surrounding an even more costly proposal in tandem with the infrastructure bill. The other item on President Joe Biden’s Christmas list clocks in at $1.85 trillion and features everything from social safety net provisions to policy aimed at addressing climate change and rewriting the tax code.

Perhaps most concerning of all is that these eye-popping spending numbers may be conservative estimates of the true cost of some of the programs on the docket. While the $1 trillion number has been cited ad nauseam and even propped up as a reasonable fraction of some of the earlier estimates, the fact is that critics have expressed concern that clever accounting and gimmicks conceal the true costs of the plan over time.

The political class will debate the merits of the infrastructure bill and the “Build Back Better” plan endlessly in the weeks and months ahead. Voters, ultimately, will make their thoughts known on the measures when they go to the polls during next year’s midterm elections.

Be that as it may, one thing remains true no matter what side of the spectrum you’re on: spending like this feels wrong when so many are feeling the pinch of inflation. And while it may be comforting to think that perhaps, one day, big government spending will have an impact on our personal pocketbooks, I fear that day is too far down the line to help those facing struggles right now.

Reprinted with permission from – InsideSources – By Dan K. Eberhart


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Tom
4 months ago

Unfortunately a lot of the people in Washington DC reside inside the bubble on another planet. On that planet there’s plenty of money, no cares about deficit spending, no one cares what their constituents want, and everything is just hunky dory. After being handed a viable economy from the previous administration, this regime went about deconstructing it starting on day one with ridiculous executive orders. The answer to them is they simply print money and spend their way out of it. When stagflation hits they blame it on the industry of the week but one thing’s for certain it’s not their fault! Oh hell no!

OZzie
4 months ago

Biden should be impeached for violating his oath of office to defend the Constitution by continued overreach.

Donald Kane
4 months ago

Let’s not forget Obama ‘s infrastructure bill…1 trillion…. …. that was used to bail out leftist cities, unions, and crony pet projects that DIDN’T do anything for the economy….remember Obama laughing about the shovel ready jobs….that never materialized……same bs here…..

Richard Minetti
4 months ago

These GD Democrat’s are going to kill us all!! They are cutting off our food supply, gasoline, toilet paper and everything else we need to survive!

PaulE
4 months ago

So last year we passed a $1 trillion dollar so-called infrastructure bill, that only contained no more than 29 percent of anything that could be construed to be actual infrastructure. The rest was just socialist welfare spending policies of no lasting benefit to most Americans. The equivalent of taking taxpayer money and flushing it down the toilet. By the way, the money from that ludicrous bill hasn’t even been fully sent out the door yet. Now the Democrats want another $1 trillion for “infrastructure” to cover the same “crumbling roads and bridges” as last year’s bill? Does this strike anyone else as obvious pork simply designed to line the pockets of a certain party, while at the same time also stoking even more inflation in an already inflationary environment? It should, if you understand basic monetary theory.

The root cause of inflation is excessive amounts of money being injected into the economy. In simple English for everyone to understand, that means the federal government either spending excessively (all the excessive spending associated with the Covid relief packages and the ludicrous bipartisan non-infrastructure infrastructure bill passed last year) or simply printing more dollars and depreciating the value of the existing currency already in the economy. The federal government did both last year, which is why inflation is increasing at its current rate. The bill being proposed does NOTHING to address inflation and will actually make inflation substantially worse.

The so-called pay for of selling oil from the SPR will only result in the United states becoming more energy dependent on OPEC and other countries, as the United States will either have to either purchase replacement oil on the open market at much higher prices than what we originally paid for the oil (this is your tax dollars by the way) to be sold off or this administration simply chooses to not replenish the SPR and that leaves the United States vulnerable down the road should we need it to address any one of a dozen potential national emergencies this administration has the potential to get us into. Neither option is smart from either an economic nor national security basis. It is simply the same old feel good magic fix the Democrats always like to try to pull on the public.

This is yet another bill that must be stopped dead in its tracks.

Max
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Will Congress step in to rein in CA and WA for misusing COVID funds (taxpayer) to now support climate change initiatives in their respective states? The Constitution is getting trampled by this administration and leftist states with impunity. Where is the accountability for such actions? Such action is not forthcoming at all.

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Max

Congress has no enforcement powers per se regarding the way the laws are being written these days Max. Spending bills essentially are written as block grants of money being awarded to states. With the states pretty much free to spend the money anyway they wish as long as the Executive branch of federal government, meaning the party in power holding the Presidency, doesn’t object. Do you think the people managing Joe Biden are going to object to the money being diverted to the Party’s number one financial scheme “climate change”? I don’t.

Congress itself abrogated any control of how the money they authorize gets specifically spent to the Executive branch agencies and departments decades ago. Today’s laws are written so vaguely, because many in Congress didn’t want to have personal responsibility for how the money they authorize gets spent. Too much real responsibility and work plus the down-side risk of being held politically accountable for when money goes missing or gets miss spent, rather than just days and days spent doing little to no work at all. This isn’t Mr. Smith goes to Washington anymore.

Enforcement of where and how the money is actually spent ultimately rests with the Executive branch of the federal government and I don’t see anyone in this Democrat administration objecting to the diversion of the money.

Max
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

I know, I just wanted to vent toward the lack of accountability of our government in the ways that they spend our dollars.

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