- - Monday, November 1, 2021

The annual “trick-or-treat” ritual is over. Not so the “tricks” perpetuated by congressional Democrats about their tax-and-spend ritual and their phony numbers.

Consider the latest spending measure cobbled together by the House Democratic leadership, or more accurately, their staff. It is 2,400 pages long, much longer than the longest book I ever read. I doubt most members have read much if any of it. It, combined with the coming social spending bill, is a Democrat wish list that addresses problems that don’t exist (climate change), the supposed inability of parents to care for their own children (“free” daycare), and the creation of new entitlements that will addict voters to their party in perpetuity, which seems their goal.

The language is foreign to most English speakers and was likely poll-tested along with false promises it will not cost a dime. Forget pennies from Heaven. These are borrowed and printed dollars from Washington.

You’ve heard of the kitchen sink. This is that, the bathroom sink, and the tub. If it becomes law, the country will sink deeper in debt from which we are unlikely to recover. Even worse is yet to come with the massive social spending measure.

On CNN, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin said that the administration’s proposed tax hike on billionaires is “…not a wealth tax, but a tax on unrealized capital gains of exceptionally wealthy individuals.” Word games.

Christian Mysliwiec, the commentary editor for The Daily Signal, a publication of the conservative Heritage Foundation, has written an analysis of the $1.75 trillion bill. Here are three of his lowlights:

“Childcare and Pre-K: Actual 10-year cost is likely more than twice the reported cost of $400 billion.

“Obamacare Tax Credit: Actual 10-year cost is likely much more than three times the reported cost of $130 billion.

“Child and Earned Income Tax Credits: Actual 10-year cost is likely more than 10 times the reported cost of $200 billion.

“In total, these programs would likely cost well over $2.3 trillion above the estimate in this framework over 10 years. This excess would be more than $18,700 of new spending per American household.”

This is, to recall a phrase, “voodoo economics.”

Aside from the monetary cost, there would also be a sociological price to pay. Children will be raised with the values of paid daycare workers and without parental love. The measure would discourage work, as we have seen with checks going to people during the pandemic who have been reluctant to return to their jobs.

Mr. Mysliwiec also notes the bill will “subsidize single parenthood, including among teens, thereby weakening the probability that children will be raised by a married mother and father … fewer children will experience social success and upward mobility, and low-income Americans will be left behind.”

This advances the liberal (aka progressive) “soft bigotry of low expectations” because it tells minorities they have little to no chance of succeeding without federal help. We have heard this for decades. If government alone, or even government mainly, could cause people to make good decisions for themselves and the country, would it not have by now? Trillions of dollars have been spent on programs that have not fulfilled the promises of those who created them. What about the numerous people who have succeeded on their own by making right decisions? Forget them because they don’t help the Democrats’ narrative.

I am not a pessimist, but if these spending bills become law, which is still in doubt given the opposition of some Democrats, it will only advance our decline, massive debt being one of the contributing factors to the demise of other nations that engaged in profligate spending.

Our enemies, which now include domestic enemies, as well as foreign, are eager to reach their goal of “fundamentally transforming America.”

• Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com. Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book, “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States” (HarperCollins/Zondervan).

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