Fate handed Sen.Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), America’s ultimate swing voter, a big crown, and boy is he lovin’ it.
Suddenly, he has the entire Democratic Party sitting at his feet and fawning over his every word. Never mind that he often doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s pretty much the way the Republicans treat Donald Trump’s pronouncements, minus the grade-school insults.
He’ll insist Republicans have more of a voice on President Biden’s next big package than they did on the COVID stimulus.
One wonders what “more of a voice” he means. The Republicans” version of a stimulus involved much less going to the poor and middle-classes, and lots more going to the rich.
As it is, the Dems caved by reducing the payout to the people who need it most. Should that payout have been cut even more?
But, it gets even worse:
Manchin said he’ll push for tax hikes to pay for Biden’s upcoming infrastructure and climate proposal, and will use his Energy Committee chairmanship to force the GOP to confront climate reality.
My conversation yielded the most extensive preview yet of how Manchin — a Democrat from a Trump state, in a 50-50 Senate, who relishes standing up to a Democratic White House — will use his singular power.
Federal taxes do not pay for federal spending. The government pays for its spending by creating brand new dollars, ad hoc. That is why it has been able to budget an additional $4 trillion in stimulus spending, with no tax increases.
Manchin said that with just a few concessions, it would have been possible to get some Republicans on the COVID relief package that passed the Senate this weekend on a party-line vote.
A few concessions?? The Dems gave them huge concessions — the much wanted $15 minimum wage is gone, and there is a 25% reduction in unemployment benefits — yet not a single Republican changed his/her vote. How do you explain that, Joe? Republicans need “more of a voice”? Really?
And he said he’ll block Biden’s next big package — $2 trillion to $4 trillion for climate and infrastructure — if Republicans aren’t included.
“I’m not going to do it through reconciliation,” which requires only a simple majority, like the COVID stimulus, Manchin said. “I am not going to get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start trying.”
Manchin said Biden expects, and understands, the pushback: “He’s the first president we’ve had to really, really understand the workings of the Senate since LBJ.”
Asked if he believes it’s possible to get 10 Republicans on the infrastructure package, which could yield the 60 votes needed under normal Senate rules, Manchin said: “I sure do.”
It would be nice if Manchin understood the workings of the Senate. If he did, he would acknowledge that the Republicans do not want any Biden proposal to succeed.
The Republicans have one goal. They want to be able to crow about how Biden failed to get anything passed. To hell with America and its people. Votes and pleasing Trump are all they care about.
Manchin said the infrastructure bill can be big — as much as $4 trillion — as long as it’s paid for with tax increases. He said he’ll start his bargaining by requiring the package be 100% paid for.
Oh, good: A wholly unnecessary, $4 trillion tax increase. That ought to help the economy grow.
I have an idea, Joe: How about every member of Congress paying for his/her own health care insurance. Would that be a good start?
Manchin said that with all the debt we’re piling up, he’s worried about “a tremendous deep recession that could lead into a depression if we’re not careful. … We’re just setting ourselves up.”
Nice idea, except for one small fact, Joe: Recessions follow reductions in deficit growth and are cured by increases in deficit growth (aka, “stimulus”).
And as for depressions: Those are caused by debt reductions, and are cured by debt increases.
1804-1812: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 48%. Depression began 1807.
1817-1821: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 29%. Depression began 1819.
1823-1836: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 99%. Depression began 1837.
1852-1857: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 59%. Depression began 1857.
1867-1873: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 27%. Depression began 1873.
1880-1893: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 57%. Depression began 1893.
1920-1930: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 36%. Depression began 1929.
1997-2001: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 15%. Recession began 2001.
But hey, Joe, don’t let facts get in the way of myth.
He talked up an array of tax increases, including raising the corporate tax rate from the current 21% to 25% “at least,” and repealing “a lot of” the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy.
Manchin, sitting down with HBO in the Energy Committee hearing room where he now holds the gavel, said he’ll use his new position “to try and inject some reality” — starting with a hearing “on climate facts.”
Increasing the corporate tax rate, i.e. taking dollars from the private sector, will help grow the economy how?? Which economics books have you read, Joe?
Asked about Republican senators who won’t say that humans have affected climate, Manchin said: “Well, I think they know it.”
Of course, they know it. Every sentient human being on this planet knows it. So Joe, how exactly are you going to “inject some reality” when talking to people who already know the facts, but don’t give a damn?
Scientists have been injecting reality for decades. Now, you, the great and powerful Joe Manchin, are going to do the job?
Manchin warned fellow Democrats about ramming through legislation by simple majority:
Excuse me, Joe, but in what world does majority rule constitute “ramming through legislation.” The filibuster is simple minority rule. Is that what you prefer?
“I would say this to my friends. You’ve got power … Don’t abuse it. And that’s exactly what you’ll be doing if you throw the filibuster out.”
I would say this to Joe Manchin. You’ve got power. Don’t abuse it. That is exactly what you would be doing if you are the one person overruling the Democratic President and the entire Democratic Party.
Joe, the Democratic voters of West Virginia put you in; they can put you out, and they will if someone “injects some reality” into the next election.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
- Eliminate FICA
- Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
- Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
- Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
- Salary for attending school
- Eliminate federal taxes on business
- Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
- Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
- Federal ownership of all banks
- Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.