West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin almost pulled off his effort to burnish a reputation as a statesman … a man of integrity … a man of principle. One of those politicians who earn their way into the pantheon of the courageous. It was not to be.
For sure, Democrats were unhappy that Manchin stood up for the little people – choosing to fight the crippling inflationary policies of the Biden administration — and the Democrat congressional leadership’s desire to dangle some expensive goodies in front of the voters before the upcoming midterm elections.
He and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema were holding back the inflationary tsunami produced by the tax dollars Biden wanted to pump into the already overheated constricting economy.
Suddenly, Manchin comes out of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s back room with a complete reversal in his position. Not a compromise, but a full-bore cave. He caves to the Democrats’ long tradition of tax-and-spend policies designed to curry favor with voters – even at the cost of the economy and the hardship on future generations.
In the world of left-wing euphemism, Biden’s baby Build Back Better Bill has been renamed the Anti-Inflation Bill. We are told by Biden & Co. that this bill will reduce inflation … lower the national debt … create jobs … lower prescription costs … reduce gas prices … and a lot of etceteras. It only falls short of untying the Gordian Knot.
Consistent with the implacable truth of government spending, Biden’s misnamed legislation will be far more costly than projected – and any tax revenues will be far less than projected. While the bill creates a formula that would reduce the National Debt on paper, it will not do so.
The bill is said to be “revenue neutral” in that that projected costs will be compensated by the projected revenues. When that does not happen, the legislation will have a negative impact on both the Deficit and the Debt.
If you are inclined to believe Biden in this matter, just remember that he said his stimulus legislation and infrastructure bill — that most economists point to as a major contributor to the current inflation – would be anti-inflationary. Biden first told us there would be no inflation. And then, when inflation was creeping up, Biden promised that it was transitional – would be mild and short lived.
In the face of all that malarkey coming from the White House, Manchin stood firm. Did he cave because of all the pressure from his congressional colleagues? Did he get something under the table? Was he concerned that without this piece of legislation, team-Democrat would not do so well in the midterm elections? Or is Manchin simply not a trustworthy person? After all, he did double-cross his Democrat leadership by indicating he would support Biden’s humongous Build Back Better Bill and then opposed it.
It really does not matter. Unless there are other Democrats who will refuse to heap another burden on the economy – and future taxpayers – the Biden Bill will pass and its negative impacts kicked down the generational road.
We will have to see how this high-visibility flip-flopping will impact on Manchin himself. He has two years before he will have to face the voters of West Virginia. Maybe they will forget Manchin’s economic apostasy. If they do not, he may find his constituents unwilling to return him to the Senate.
So, there ‘tis.