I was contacted over the weekend by Sputnik News to give them my thoughts on Nancy Pelosi’s announcement to force through votes on the two big spending bills she’s been stymied on for months now. The opposition to these bills, even the Infrastructure Bill she eventually got through the House at the midnight hour, is increasing because the perceived need for them is falling.
Sputnik published their article this morning and is worth your time (not just because some of my ideas are presented). Since this bill passed the realization that the “Build Back Better” Bill of Davos’ dreams is still in serious trouble.
The fact that Pelosi arm-twisted this hard so close to last week’s electoral shellacking should confirm for you just how desperate things look on Capitol Hill. There is a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party which is playing out both in Domestic and Foreign Policy. More on that later in the week.
Since Sputnik didn’t use all of my comments I’m publishing them here to keep things brisk and clarify any finer points.
Q:How will the “transformative” Build Back Better Act change the everyday lives of ordinary Americans?
That hasn’t passed yet, and if the moderate Democrats in the Senate were listening to the voters on Election Day, they should continue to hold out against it and kill it completely. Compared to the original text of the bill the BBB Act monetarily isn’t a big deal. Most of Trump’s tax cuts are still in place.
What will be terrible coming out of that bill is the new administrative powers, snooping, regulations on travel, cryptocurrencies, etc. which will continue to strangle the middle class and ensure the continued roll up of wealth in the U.S. from the middle and lower classes to major firms.
They will not only wind up with the lion’s share of the funds, but also operate in a landscape where the costs of the new rules fall disproportionately on smaller firms, increasing their competitive advantage.
Q: Six Democrats, known as The Squad, voted against the infrastructure bill. Do you expect more infighting within the Democratic party, which is soon set to vote on the $1.85 trillion climate, tax, and social policy bill?
Yes, I actually do. The Democratic Party isn’t a political party per se. Instead, it is best to think of it as a three-headed coalition of the aggrieved.
They are in panic mode to ‘just sign anything’ and give their people something to run and fundraise on, even though they already know they’ve lost the mid-terms.
What happened on Friday was more interesting from the Republican side of the aisle (as always) as enough of them caved to politically neuter “The Squad” on this vote.
These squishy RINOs did what they were supposed to do, betray their constituents at the last minute to serve whatever higher master, in my view the ones who just met at COP26, they answer to.
By neutering “The Squad” over this vote with the help of RINOs, it will be easier for Pelosi and company to get The Squad to cave over the second bill. The Progressives got their heads handed to them last night.
So, moving on to the BBB Act, Sen. Joe Manchin is now the key player, obviously. Pressure on him will be insane. But, he’s bought himself a few weeks by saying he’ll wait for the CBO report, which will say exactly what Biden and Obama want it to say.
The problem for everyone is that the argument for this spending is fading. Inflation is raging. Biden took credit for the new Jobs Report, even though it was simply Holiday temp hiring, and the Fed is in opposition to the rest of the central banks, committing to ending QE. Expect Powell to talk about hiking rates in 2022 the minute he’s reappointed as FOMC Chair.
Republicans have blasted 13 fellow party members for voting in favour of what they described as a “wasteful” bill. Do you share this point of view?
Of course. I’m a libertarian. All of this spending is not only wasteful but immoral. But, taking off my partisan glasses, this bill is innocuous by D.C. standards, to be honest. The real damage was done during COVID-19 with the CARES Act and the follow up support legislation.
Winnowing the bill down from $3.5 or $5.5 trillion (who can keep track anymore) to $1.85 trillion over 10 years makes it far less of a threat to the Federal Reserve, and leaves it room to end QE and force the rest of the world to deal with a sharply rising U.S. Dollar.
As always, the Republicans are focusing on the money because it’s the easiest message to sell but also the easiest to bargain away. This is how you know the leadership is controlled opposition. Notice how there is no discussion allowed on the regulatory and bureaucratic changes, only the rate at which they get deployed. These bills are technocratic nightmares which should always be opposed root and branch.
The goal of them is to bring the U.S. in line with the sclerotic and dysfunctional EU and create chaos within the U.S. political system. As much as it pains me to say this, the Fed looks to be the only organization on Capitol Hill interested in defending the people of the U.S. by forcing a dollar rally which will blow up the budget while also forcing capital flight out of Europe, Japan and China.
Some Democratic lawmakers have criticized the party for failing to pass the bill ahead of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia, which could have given Dems a legislative victory to campaign on. How true is this? How do you expect the electoral landscape to change now?
I think the Democrats saying this are still trapped in thinking that the rules of the political game are the same as they were in previous years. This is the problem with the old generations refusing to leave the scene.
The Pelosis, Feinsteins, Schumers and Hoyers simply don’t realize that there has been a seismic shift in the rules of politics since the election of Trump in 2016. Voters aren’t responding to the old adage of “when you promise to rob Peter to pay Paul you can always count on Paul’s vote,” the same way anymore.
This is a civilizational fight of ideology and the definition of what community is, which the Democrats and The Davos Crowd stoked. Now thinking they could go to their districts with some pork spending to buy off parents who the Biden administration and Obama just dismissed as cranks is evidence of a myopia no corrective lens could ever fix.
The Democrats and Davos know they are losing the mid-terms. They are already in damage control mode, hoping to only lose a couple dozen seats rather than the historic wipeout they are now facing. This is why Pelosi called in every marker and used everyone’s hatred of The Squad to get the BIF bill passed but are still facing a stiff House on the BBB bill.
What has to happen now is that not only a primary purge of the old money Democrats (very likely) but also a purge of the Mitt Romney-style RINOs for the mid-terms. When you see what happened in New Jersey with a truck driver who spent $153 challenge the State Senate President to within an inch of his political life you know the rules have changed.
Since they know their time is very limited, that’s why what’s in the unread guts of these bills had to be passed regardless of the topline cost.
That’s the point of this exercise, it always is.
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