New York Post: Liberals and “Will of the People” Malarkey

Sen. Joe Manchin was burned in effigy by progressive Democrats and pundits after he announced on Sunday that he would not support President Biden’s Build Back Better bill. Some members of Congress sounded like this was the gravest assault on federal authority since Fort Sumter was fired on in 1861.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) raged on Twitter, “When democracies are no longer able to address their constituents’ needs and demands, authoritarians seize power.”

Omar captured the Biden-era definition of authoritarianism: any politician who stands in the way of unlimited federal-deficit spending.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated Biden’s BBB plan would boost federal spending by $4.5 trillion and the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade. But according to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), “Our entire democracy is on the line. So we need to get back in there & get this sh-t done.” 

AOC believes she has found the flaw in the Constitution: the US Senate. She called it “very entitled, very privileged and very protected,” while the House of Representatives “most reliably delivers the actual will of the majority of people.”

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki effectively labeled Manchin (D-W. Va.) a liar, blasting “a breach of his commitments to the president.”

Manchin feels betrayed by the White House: “This is not the president — this is staff. They drove some things that are absolutely inexcusable. I just got to the wit’s end of what happened.”

If progressives seem a little over-the-top, consider that they almost sneaked through a generation-sized bill with a 50-50 Senate and a razor-thin House lead (so much for “democratic”). As a histrionic Washington Post piece fretted, Manchin’s decision “threatens to seriously damage Biden’s presidency and deprive Democrats of . . . a once-in a generation opportunity to . . . remake the US economy.” 

But giving perpetual child-welfare payments to any household earning less than $200,000 would be the biggest expansion of dependency since FDR created Social Security in 1935.

Manchin is guilty of rejecting the “government spending as magic beans” philosophy that permeates the Biden administration and its allies. Build Back Better is premised on the notion of perpetual free federal deficit spending. Sometimes that is draped as “modern monetary theory” — a more intellectually respectable ploy declaring that any election winner is entitled to spend as many dollars as the government can seize or create. Media scorekeepers have sought to protect the Biden administration by ignoring the damage it inflicts. 

While the Washington media are having a fainting fit over Manchin’s resistance, average Americans are getting hammered by the inflation he cited as a reason to oppose BBB. Inflation in 2021 ran at almost a 7 percent rate and the producer price index is rising at a rate of almost 10 percent. If current trends continue (or worsen), at some point in 2021, Biden will have decimated the value of the US dollar. 

Progressives may believe that laudatory editorials in top newspapers will give Biden the “fire insurance” he needs to protect him from the ravages of inflation. But the “I did that” stickers showing Biden’s face pointing to gasoline or other items with higher prices will sway far more voters than editorial pages.

By castigating Manchin and calling a 51-vote defeat “undemocratic,” the progressives have exposed themselves as the authoritarians they are. “Just do it” is their attitude — the will of the American people, and the pain they’ll feel in their wallets — be damned.

James Bovard is an author of 10 books and member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors. 


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