Fresh off the August Recess, the Democrat Congress is set to tackle their $3.5 trillion spending bill – which will massively expand the cradle-to-grave welfare state that has been built up over the decades.
The New York Times writes, “…the proposed legislation would be so transformative — a cradle-to-grave reweaving of a social safety net frayed by decades of expanding income inequality, stagnating wealth and depleted governmental resources, capped by the worst public health crisis in a century.”
While the slim majorities in both the House and Senate mean there are no guarantees, as we saw with Obamacare, Democrats have the will the ram through massive legislation by any means necessary.
President Joe Biden seems to be taking a page from his predecessors, who have all sought to massively expand the federal government during their tenures.
Think FDR’s New Deal. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Jimmy Carter’s creation of the federal Department of Education. Barack Obama’s TARP, “stimulus” bill, and of course, Obamacare.
The New York Times quotes one of Biden’s economic advisers as crediting the pandemic for creating the political grounds necessary for passing more of the left-wing wishlist: “Polls have shown for a very long time that these issues to support American families were important, and were popular, but all of a sudden they became not a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘must have.’”
If the final passage is in doubt, the ambition of the Democrats is not.
The scope of the bill is something to behold.
The bill guarantees 12 weeks of paid parental, family, and “personal illness/safe” leave. The bill would permanently expand the child tax credits, earned income credits, and dependent child care credits that were a part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan.
The bill calls for the establishment of universal pre-K benefits for three and four-year olds, and new child care benefits to the tune of 50% of child care costs to be paid for by states.
After public school it’s on to college, where community college would be free for two years. The bill calls for the federal government to pay for 75% of the average tuition cost in every state with states paying the rest.
Then there are other income supplements and workforce training programs, especially for home health and elder care workers. Biden would like to raise the minimum wage for home health and elder care workers to $15 an hour.
Finally, expansion of Medicare to include dental, hearing, and vision services.
Economist at the American Enterprise Institute Michael R. Strain says, “Its ambition is in its size.”
Many can remember “The Life of Julia,” the catchy and hip cartoon put out by the Obama campaign.
It depicted the life of “Julia,” and how the government would take of her throughout her life, and how that would not happen if we elected Mitt Romney.
Julia went to school through Headstart programs and student loans, she gets a job and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act closed the “gender pay gap,” she becomes a mom and has a son, all that care covered under Obamacare, and she retires and lives off her social security benefits.
While the one thing the Obama campaign left out was that Julia didn’t need to get married, it also did not explain who would be paying for all of the new federal programs. This time, the Democrats have the answer for that.
Most European countries with the kind of structure being pushed by Joe Biden and the Democrats pay for their giant social safety nets with value added taxes, a tax that is levied throughout all stages of a consumer good’s production. Biden wants to pay for it all with taxes on corporations and taxing those who make over $400,000 per year.
There is also consideration to increasing the death tax, and also retroactive taxes on wealth that has already been accumulated.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) says it is the only way to ensure “the rich pay their fair share.”
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