It’s increasingly clear that the Biden administration’s nearly $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package would appease special-interest groups rather than address the needs of those who actually need relief.
While about $1 trillion still sits unspent from previous relief bills, Biden’s bailout legislation would fulfill Democrats far-left wish list.
Among the many things that are unrelated to COVID-19 are a pension bailout, which could cost more than $60 billion, and a $350 billion bailout for states and localities.
Instead of a commitment to unity and working with Republicans to pass agreeable solutions, Democrats have decided to abuse the budget reconciliation process to push through legislation that eclipses previous federal spending sprees.
They’re going to bail out special-interest groups and enact some of the worst fiscal policies this nation has ever seen. And unlike all five previous coronavirus relief efforts, this bill doesn’t have bipartisan support.
This latest legislation is also the opposite of targeted: It throws billions and billions of dollars of good money after bad policies, using taxpayer funds for expensive bailouts that are unrelated to COVID-19 and unnecessary.
Predictions of plummeting state and local revenue have not come to pass. One recent report showed that tax revenue decreased only marginally, with 21 states reportedly seeing revenue growth in 2020.
In Kansas, tax revenues are already up now from where they were in fiscal year 2020, and neighboring Oklahoma is already projecting a $1.2 billion increase in its next fiscal year’s budget.
One bailout that’s included in President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 bill is an estimated $60 billion for pensions. Using coronavirus relief funds to bail out these pension funds is unfair to taxpayers, as many of the pensions have been mismanaged and continue avoiding reforms that would prevent insolvency.
As the former state treasurer of Kansas and trustee of the state’s pension program, I know that important management decisions can be made to ensure programs remain solvent.
In Kansas, we proved it’s possible. Unfortunately, many in Washington think the answer to every question is to rack up billions, or even trillions, of dollars in debt on America’s credit card.
With such a dire budget situation at hand, Congress must ensure that any relief passed is targeted. Every dime spent on interest payments means less will go to what our federal government was designed to do by our Founders.
Uncontrolled spending by our federal government isn’t without consequence. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that $2 trillion in spending could shrink the economy by about $100 billion over the next decade, and with the national debt topping $27 trillion, our budget will have to shift over the coming years to accommodate larger and larger interest payments.
The Kansans I represent don’t want Washington to spend trillions of their taxpayer dollars on partisan projects. They want lawmakers just to work on crushing this virus so we can get back to building our families, businesses, and communities.
This nearly $2 trillion bill isn’t the right approach. It’s not targeted and is full of partisan handouts that have little or nothing to do with COVID-19.
Congress should instead be focusing on policies that increase job opportunities and wages for all workers, not mortgaging our futures.
It was just a year ago that we saw the results of tax and regulatory reforms; namely, the first actual wage growth in decades and historic lows in unemployment.
In order to return to that booming economy, we should focus on defeating the virus and reopening our country.
Author : Rep. Ron Estes
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