Will the White House shredder work overtime during Christmas? President Donald Trump delivered a late-night address on December 22, going scorched-earth on the $908 billion coronavirus stimulus and relief package coupled with the $1.4 trillion government funding bill. As Republican and Democratic leaders championed their altruist nature for giving the American people $600 of their own money, the president slammed the COVID-19 legislation for possessing an egregious amount of waste. While he has not outright promised to veto the bill, Trump is demanding Congress place a document on his desk that includes more money for Americans and less money for foreign countries and illegal aliens.
Will he get it? Let the curtain rise in the next act of the Swamp’s political theater.
Let Them Eat Pork
Why are cash-strapped U.S. taxpayers giving $85 million to Cambodia? Why is a federal government, running a multi-trillion-deficit, handing over $566 million for construction projects at the FBI? How does spending $10 million for gender programs in Pakistan benefit the United States in the middle of a global health pandemic? How can policymakers justify approving the House of Representatives an additional $25 million for staff salary when nobody reads what is put on more than 5,000 pieces of paper?
While U.S. citizens are proffered the bare minimum and told to be grateful, Republicans and Democratic officials ensured an enormous inventory of pork for lobbyists, special interests, and foreign governments. The nation will not even know the full extent of how much is being wasted because lawmakers had been extended just six hours to read 5,500 pages of legislation.
It is comparable to when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) revealed that the only way to know what was inside the Affordable Care Act was to pass it first. In this case, politicians who were authentic in their crusade to learn where your hard-earned tax dollars were going had to hit Control-F and insert keywords, which is, ostensibly, the only seemingly efficacious strategy of legislating in Washington.
As President Trump alluded to in his speech, Democrats had spent months blocking COVID-19 relief legislation to both “advance their extreme left-wing agenda and influence the election.” Once talks restarted, the negotiations were at a standstill, and now we might know why: The grifters had to insert key passages to beef up their pet projects.
So, after the legislation has become memeified, will the GOP and Democrats listen? Following Trump’s remarks, several prominent Democrats, like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), agreed to Trump’s demand to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000 per person or $4,000 per couple. But will they also follow through on the president’s other request of “immediately get[ting] rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation”? That would be the real test of authenticity.
Whose Fault Is It Anyway?
The provisions inside the $908 billion bill that made headlines over the weekend also included $300 in enhanced unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Other spending items consisted of $248 billion for small business assistance, $25 billion in rental relief, $15 billion for airline payroll assistance, and $13 billion in increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding.
Despite how one of the most extensive stimulus packages cripples Uncle Sam’s finances, it is hard to begrudge the American people for accepting this so-called relief. The government shut down businesses, impacted international commerce, and forced people into house arrest under mendacious pretenses. Their livelihoods were taken away by panic-stricken officials who were unwilling to let a crisis go to waste, choosing to assert their authority over sovereign people and using a virus as an excuse.
The absurdity had been lost on the six-figure earning politicians at the federal and state level. They destroy the lives of tens of millions of people nationwide, only to stab them in the back and take their money by wiring $134 million to Burma and writing a $1 billion check to the Smithsonian. How does this benefit an impoverished family in Biloxi, MS, or West Lebanon, IN? It is as if they have no clue what they are doing. Or, worse, they are punishing the people for this coronavirus pandemic that started in China.
And half the nation wants a paternalistic, deficit-financed big government?
We’re Here to Help
Legendary economist Thomas Sowell wrote, “The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.” And that is the quintessential problem with not only this additional round of COVID-19 relief but also with a myriad of other costly spending bills from America’s history. This is another exhibit in the adage that the most dangerous words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” If this is their idea of helping, politicians must have a grim sense of humor. When all the smoke has cleared, all the dust has settled, and more than half of the population has been forced to be jabbed with an experimental vaccine, taxpayers might never want to accept assistance from the state ever again, making it a superfluous entity. That is perhaps a Great Reset conservatives and libertarians could get behind.
Read more from Andrew Moran.