- - Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Congressional Democrats are fast-tracking a budget proposal and setting the stage to pass a radical $3.5 trillion package filled with wasteful spending and tax increases. The plan contains consequential steps towards socialism, like Medicare for All, and a radical expansion of the welfare state. They would give the government more power and control over education, employment, medical care, and the lives of everyday Americans. 

Democrats are laying the foundation for a new era of welfare dependency. This “support” gives the federal government the perceived ability to control Americans’ lives even more.  

This plan takes massive steps towards implementing Medicare For All, which will install government-run health care where federal bureaucrats dictate the value and supply of medical innovation, access to care and life-preserving medicines, and efficiency in the health care market.  

To achieve this goal, it would spend well over one trillion dollars on various health care initiatives, including expanding Medicaid, covering more Obamacare premiums, providing dental, hearing, and vision coverage in Medicare, lowering the age for Medicare eligibility, and creating a public option available through the Obamacare marketplaces.  

The expansion of Medicare and Medicaid spending is especially alarming. These programs are already a primary driver of deficits, and Medicare could be insolvent as soon as 2024. We should find ways to drive down the cost of mandatory spending, not swell it.

The plan includes another trillion dollars on new federal programs to establish universal pre-k education, childcare, two free years of community college, and paid family and medical leave.

These programs have been dubbed as “Human infrastructure” – President Biden’s attempt at an FDR-esque expansion of the welfare state.

In reality, this is about reshaping the country into a more socialist nation, a long-held goal of the Left.

Once the federal government expands free public education into pre-kindergarten and college, it will control teaching methods, setting curricula, and more. Similarly, once the federal government (and taxpayers) are responsible for the cost of people’s medical and family decisions and responsible for subsidizing their income, recipients’ lifestyles and decisions become part of the state’s interests.

There is no doubt that the legislation will contain wasteful spending provisions in addition to these topline items. After all, even the bipartisan infrastructure plan had many wasteful spending provisions, such as an initiative to get women interested in trucking as a career and a grant program designed to get kindergarteners to walk or bike two miles to school to reduce their fuel consumption.  

Not only are the policies contained in this proposal concerning, but they come at a time that federal spending is already dangerously out of control.

Last year, the U.S. government spent over $6 trillion. The U.S. is on track to, again, spend over $6 trillion this year, or 30 percent of the economy, even before the $3.5 trillion plan is signed into law.

The CBO already projects that the U.S.’s interest costs will triple within the next decade: $331 billion this year to $910 billion in 2031, accounting for 12 percent of the entire federal budget. This budget resolution would launch the United States into even deeper debt, thus requiring a massive chunk of yearly federal spending dedicated to interest payments.  

The costs of this new Democrat proposal could be even greater than advertised. If the provisions in the new $3.5 trillion plan are made permanent, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) estimates that the true cost could be between $5 trillion and $5.5 trillion over a decade. This is bound to cause inflation to surge even more than it already is.

The American people were told that trillions of dollars in new spending were necessary to address the pandemic. Now, Democrats are attempting to continue this spending far beyond the crisis, establishing a new norm. This should not be a complete shock - back in March of 2020, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) described the moment as a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

That is precisely what Democrats attempt to do now. When the economy is just beginning to recover, Democrats want to spend trillions of dollars to move the country closer toward socialism and establish vast new welfare programs. This will exacerbate the United States’ debt, drive inflation up, devastate health care, and create more dependency on the federal government.

• Isabelle Morales is Policy Communications Specialist at Americans for Tax Reform.

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