By Royal Alexander
The bill is packed with pork that has nothing to do with the pandemic
This new $1.9 trillion bill shovels tax dollars to myriad special interests that have nothing to do with Covid even while approximately $1 trillion from previous Covid relief bills remain unspent. In fact, less than 10 percent of the bill’s spending will be targeted towards public health. The large majority of funding goes to special interest payoffs and other wasteful spending that will have little impact on reducing the spread of the virus or helping to strengthen an economy that is already getting even stronger.
Further, this “stimulus” bill is not only an enormous expansion of government spending but will also lead to one of the largest increases in government welfare benefits since the creation of the welfare state. The Biden plan is actually the opposite of welfare reform because it eliminates many of the work requirements that have proven successful and now essentially requires no progress or effort on the part of individuals who receive those benefits. This is, sadly, the best way to insure people do not ever return to work.
The bill, for example, also includes some $86 billion bailout for union pension funds that has nothing to do with Covid relief. It also contains a provision allowing non-white farmers and ranchers to write off government loans because they are supposedly “socially disadvantaged.” There are also block grants to “sanctuary” states and cities—which do not enforce federal law regarding illegal immigrants in their states and cities including criminal aliens.
As noted above, this enormous debt spending comes on the heels of $4 trillion of Covid relief last year. The new bill also sends stimulus checks to people who have not lost their jobs or their incomes as well as massive amounts of spending going to state and local governments even though the economic and fiscal damage to state and local revenues wasn’t nearly as bad as had been anticipated.
While our nation is showing great health improvements, and while the economic indicators are looking more and more positive, there are still millions of Americans out of work. That is why—in addition to being fiscally reckless and irresponsible—it makes no sense to spend trillions of new debt dollars on funding priorities that have nothing to do with Covid. Rather, the much smarter approach would be specifically targeted and defined policies that are only temporary and that, while addressing immediate needs, won’t develop into permanent federal programs.