Joe Manchin Isn’t the Fiscal Conservative We Need, but He’s the Best We’ve Got
Back in 2005, I wrote that when it comes to spending, “Congressional Republicans Make French Socialists Look Like Ronald Reagan.” Looking back now, from the perspective of fiscal prudence, those were the good old days. Yet, as irresponsible as Republicans have been with our finances since then, today’s Democrats seem committed to making the spendaholic GOP look like Uncle Scrooge.
Let’s recap: The worst of the COVID-19 emergency is hopefully behind us, meaning the country should focus on recovery, fully reopening the economy, and returning to work. Government should focus on scaling back emergency programs and reducing the deficit. It’s not just the prudent thing to do, it’s also what Americans want. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, 72 percent of Americans view the federal budget deficit as a “very big” or “moderately big” problem. This concern is more pronounced than that surrounding any issues politicians are focusing on these days, including illegal immigration and crime.
They’re wiser than most politicians. After spending almost $6 trillion on pandemic-related programs, the deficit is up to $3 trillion from $984 billion in January 2020 (an alarming figure in itself), and our long-term fiscal prospects are looking red. While a fiscal crisis may be a while off, the economic crowding out and distortions produced by high spending and low growth are already upon us.
However, the Democrats controlling the House, Senate, and White House ignore these facts and are pushing through more spending—trying to make many temporary COVID-19 measures permanent programs while expanding existing and already unsu
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