The latest $1.9 trillion omnibus spending bill pending in Congress is in addition to last year’s $3.4 trillion COVID-related health and economic stimulus spending bills. Estimates of this new massive bailout put the actual appropriation of taxpayer funding related to health costs at a meaningless nine percent of the total new bloat.
What will we get for the $1.9 trillion in new deficit spending? This is all nothing more than a crafty direct federal taxpayer subvention to blue states and large urban corridors that otherwise could never justify any other state’s taxpayer bailout for their years of irresponsible, profligate government waste.
Take for example California, whose commanding government employee unions control every facet of that state’s budget allocations and whose public pension plans, the most generous in the nation, now demand extraordinary funding at all levels of government. This political turkey has now come home to roost.
But California, like New York and Illinois, have another big problem. Their state’s productive classes — you know, the people who actually create the wealth and economic vitality that permit such largess — are now leaving those states in droves rendering enormous potential tax deficits in their wake. What to do?
Call in the cavalry — or in this case, “F-Troop”. Dr. Fauci, the goofy corporal of functional health bureaucrats, has dutifully continued his Lockdown Fears Tour sufficient to permit his enablers in Washington D.C. to craft a wildly off-the-reservation so-called stimulus spending proposal designed to transfer the wealth of responsible working states to cover the big government malfeasance of the irresponsible ones.
If you still wonder why states like California, New York, and Illinois continue on a path of lockdowns despite a year’s worth of health data verifying the converse, one need only look only at Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal to understand the want of blue states to keep their citizens restricted, frustrated and on the dole.
After a full year of governments at all levels first began shutting down our economies for “30 days to slow the virus spread”, only the bluest of states continue to restrict their population’s ability to earn a living. And despite sound research showing the counterproductive health consequences of lockdowns, those blue state’s motivations for continuing their restrictive edicts are becoming ever more evident.
There is a growing, observable contrast developing in the country between the positive health outcomes in states which have been working and re-opening their economies and the coastal deep blue states who remain under strict lockdowns. Those who continue to remain closed for business are being exposed as having unnecessarily done more harm to their citizenry than the virus.
In fact, once you understand the true nature of the $1.9 trillion proposal — to channel the nation’s tax dollars to Democrat-controlled blue states and left-wing institutions — you will begin to get a handle on the immoral overreach that defines this stimulus plan and the corrupt manner in which they continue to trade on public fear to maintain the health lie undergirding this preposterous debt-busting pork-barrel bill.
The last time Democrats controlled both the White House and both houses of Congress, in 2009, there was a strong political current to overspend on bailouts to address the recession and credit crisis. Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — signed 12 years ago this month — was a $787 billion 2-year program to stimulate the economy, but did so in a mostly uniform manner across the states. Besides the huge Wall Street and banking liquidity portion, it was not a strictly partisan formulation.
The same cannot be said of this Biden $1.9 trillion boondoggle. While it is couched in terms of health care prevention and jobless recovery, only a very tiny percentage of the spending is actually health-related. The overwhelming portion of the spending is for blue coastal urban states and left-wing welfare institutions and public-employee organized labor unions.
Most of the tax dollars are actually funneled to California, New York, and Illinois through crude metrics based on unemployment and other coastal urban cost drivers. The lockdown states whose economies are moribund due to leftist government edicts are the winners and those states who have been responsibly working and open are being told to foot the bill.
This so-called stimulus plan — simply put — directly rewards states that performed dismally and corruptibly over the past year, and punishes those states who were led responsibly and are working and open for business.
That’s about as un-American a concept as can ever be devised.
Lew Uhler is founder and chairman of the National Tax Limitation Committee and the National Tax Limitation Foundation (NTLF). He was a contemporary and collaborator with Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman in California and across the country.
Peter Ferrara served as a member of the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush, and the Dunn Liberty Fellow in Economics at the King’s College in New York.
Joe Yocca is NTLF’s Policy Director. A long-time political and policy consultant, Joe served in the California State Senate as chief of staff to the Republican leadership for decades and directed numerous statewide legislative and congressional campaigns throughout his career.