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Southeast Missourian (Op-Ed): Democrats’ Tax-and-Spend Bill Promises More Economic Pain for Missouri Families

December 09, 2021

After the pandemic forced many families to alter or cancel plans for get-togethers last year, many of us were looking forward to a more traditional holiday season this year. Instead, people are realizing they’re either going to have to scale back their celebrations or be prepared to pay a lot more for them. Only this time it’s not because of the virus, but because of skyrocketing inflation resulting from misguided policies enacted by the mandate-driven Democrats in the Congress and the Biden administration.

Back in March, Democrats passed a partisan spending bill that pumped $1.9 trillion into an economy that was already well on its way to recovery. That was after Congress worked in a bipartisan way to pass five COVID relief bills the year before. Democrats broke that bipartisan model to force through their spending without a single Republican vote, and now they’re sticking Missouri families with the bill.

Inflation is at its highest rate in 30 years, and consumer confidence is at a 10-year low. Anyone who has filled up their gas tank, bought groceries, or started their holiday shopping is feeling the strain on their budget. According to a recent poll, nearly half of Americans say inflation is causing them financial hardship. It’s hitting hardworking people even more: 71% of people who live in households making less than $40,000 a year say they’ve experienced financial hardship.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Democrats have learned from their mistake. They are moving full steam ahead with another massive spending bill they say will transform the entire U.S. economy and make historic changes to our society without costing a dime. That’s simply not true.

The Congressional Budget Office, which assesses the cost of legislation, says the bill will increase the federal deficit by $367 billion, not the $0 Democrats promised. But even that estimate is based on gimmicks that obscure the real cost of the bill. Independent estimates put the price tag far higher – as much as $4.8 trillion. 

Republicans warned about the impact of the $1.9 trillion bill, and we’re raising the alarm when it comes to another $4.8 trillion in reckless spending, but we’re not alone. Jason Furman, one of President Obama’s top economic advisors, said Democrats “poured kerosene on the fire” with their $1.9 trillion bill. Steven Rattner, who served in President Obama’s Treasury Department, had this to say: "The original sin was the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed in March. The bill ... has contributed materially to today’s inflation levels."

The bottom line is that you can’t pour trillions of dollars into the economy without driving up inflation.

What makes the $4.8 trillion bill even worse is not just how much it spends, but how it spends it. Democrats have argued that individual policies like paid family leave are popular, but their plan devotes four times as much money to tax cuts for the rich. 

In the House bill, Democrats increased the limit on how much state and local tax people can deduct from their federal taxes – from $10,000 to $80,000. The liberal Tax Policy Center calculated that nearly 85% of the benefit would go to the wealthiest 10% of tax filers; and 94% of it would go to the top 20%.

In the Senate, Democrats have floated plans to make the bailout a little less obvious, but they haven’t changed the basic bias toward the richest Americans – 90% or more of the benefit would still go to the top 20%.

Doubling down on policies that are already hurting the economy to give tax breaks to the wealthy in places like New York and California is indefensible. 

Americans want their elected representatives to stop seeing every crisis as an opportunity to impose their one-sided agenda on everyone else. Families need real solutions to the challenges they’re facing. Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spend spree is exactly the wrong thing for them, for our economy, and for the future we pass on to our kids and grandkids.


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