(Nov. 19) It’s time for Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to end the drama. When it comes to President Joe Biden’s reckless, inflationary spending bill, the two somewhat centrist Democrats should do like Nancy Reagan and “just say no.”

Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, have both balked at numerous elements of the misnamed “Build Back Better” bill as it went through endless microrevisions. Manchin at least once said he wanted the legislation to be “paid for” entirely, meaning it would add nothing to the federal debt, and that he wanted to see the analysis on that subject from the Congressional Budget Office. He also has said he knows the bill uses accounting “gimmicks” and “shell games” to hide its true, even greater costs in ways not even the CBO is allowed to flag. And he says he wants nothing to do with a bill that will have inflationary effects .

First Lady Nancy Reagan (at left) is greeted by COL Sievertson upon her arrival.

inema has balked at a number of tax provisions . And Manchin, as a champion of small businesses and of domestic energy, can’t be happy with an $8 billion tax on home heating and a 50% hike in the number of audits of small businesses .

But the kiss of death for both of them should have been the CBO report that came out late this week. Not even accounting for all the gimmicks that hide some $2 trillion in real costs of “Build Back Better,” the CBO estimates that the bill would increase federal deficits by $367 billion during the next decade. In sum, not even all of the phony numbers and fuzzy math that Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi could invent can hide hundreds of billions of dollars on top of what already is this nation’s highest debt load in its entire history. And, again, if one accounts for the fuzzy math as well, the hundreds of billions become trillions…. [The full column is here.]


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