Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) put his country ahead of his party after telling Democrat bosses Thursday that he won’t support any new spending on climate gimmicks or tax hikes as part of a narrower Build Back Better (BBB) bill.
It’s like Manchin’s colleagues were trying to lose in November by making inflation worse. Congressional Democrats kept trying to resuscitate major funding for BBB, which would drive inflation further up and reward thieves through more waste, fraud and abuse.
Democrats’ attempted revival of BBB fulfilled President Reagan’s warning that the closest thing to eternal life is government spending. Still a Democrat, Manchin does want some new spending on prescription drug pricing and health insurance subsidies, which bring their own problems for taxpayers, though certainly it’s an improvement over BBB’s initial hefty price tag.
We’ve seen repeated studies showing the roughly $6 trillion in stimulus rammed through during the coronavirus pandemic contributed significantly to the record-high inflation hitting American households today. Wednesday’s report showing inflation hitting a 40-year-high likely tipped the scale for Manchin. Given the price tag for this new spending binge was in the neighborhood of $1 trillion, it could have made a recession even worse.
A big chunk of the BBB proposal Manchin rejected was the green energy giveaway, which definitely wouldn’t sit well with the constituents in is heavy coal-producing state. The Washington Post reported the original proposal included “a climate package around $300 billion to $350 billion.”
Manchin, whose vote is necessary for his party to pass a spending bill, firmly rejected fiscal irresponsibility late last year when declared the original BBB bill dead. No doubt he continues to face an onslaught of vitriol from members of his own party.
Manchin said he supported this slimmed-down BBB plan because he wanted to pay down the deficit by taxing businesses and individuals higher. But raising taxes is a terrible and ineffective way to fight supply-side driven inflation, just as the country teeters on the edge of a recession. Manchin, however, is apparently savvy enough to realize how economically and politically fraught it would be to raise taxes on anyone with inflation spiraling out of control.
Good on Manchin for holding the line on tax hikes and green energy scams. Let’s hope he doesn’t cave to new taxes for socialized medicine. Shame on Democrats for playing politics with inflation as families continue to suffer.