It was a quiet Saturday morning and I was simply minding my own business, catching up with the news and sneaking a third cup of coffee. My reverie was suddenly disturbed when I came across the following article from Newsmax’ Sandy Fitzgerald entitled, “Yellen: Tax Increases Will Come When Money Is Needed for ‘Priorities’.”
Americans will start seeing $1,400 federal stimulus checks showing up in their bank accounts this weekend, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said while defending the price tag of the $1.9 trillion COVID bill President Joe Biden signed into law Thursday afternoon — but she acknowledged the administration will be looking at “ways to fund” other projects beyond the landmark bill later on.
No tax increases were proposed to pay for the massive relief package, she added, but she acknowledged that they will come later when money is needed for other priority projects.
What? No new taxes for the nearly two trillion-dollar COVID relief bill.
I felt a quick second of euphoria. The government won’t be taking more out of my check. And I just might get a little relief check to boot. Directly into my account. The wonder of governmental efficiency.
Sotto voce, my inside voice began to murmur, “If it sounds too good to be true, you’d better read the article again.” I read it again.
Cue the announcer’s voice: Richard Edward, go ahead and tell the folks what they’ve won.
Richard Edward: With pleasure sir. It’s a free ride to COVID Relief land. You’ll thrill while watching the blinding speed of the printing presses as they churn out Benjamin after Benjamin. Feel your happiness soar as you watch giant public relief checks land on mismanaged blue states and cities and disadvantaged minority farmers too. And later, you’ll get the chance to give a blank check to your government to spend even more American taxpayer money on priority projects. **
** Priority projects will be determined by Joe Biden and his handlers. Contest rules apply and all judges’ decisions will be final. Not subject to challenge by the tax paying citizenry. Should be, but isn’t, void where prohibited.
The size of the COVID package has been slammed by House and Senate Republicans, who unanimously opposed the measure and called it a bloated bill filled with liberal wish list items that come at a time when the pandemic is becoming easier to manage and the economy is improving.
Yet, Yellen told NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie, “I don’t believe we’ve overshot the mark. I think America has enough fiscal space to be able to afford this relief that Americans need.”
Ms. Yellen’s definition of “fiscal space”? Well, maybe it’s like the prior mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s definition of “space to destroy,” but using debt instead of crowbars and bricks.
Yellen noted that this legislation “both addresses the pandemic and helps people get to the other side intact.” Yellen said, “We don’t want to have people be scarred by long spells of unemployment, being out of the labor market because children can’t go to school. We want to get the economy back operating in a normal way, and then we do have long-run challenges to address. We’re preparing to do that.”
I see it as a “mostly peaceful” debt increase leading to “kinder, gentler financial carnage at the end.”
“To date,” Fitzgerald explained, “the government has authorized $5.4 trillion in stimulus spending through six rescue packages that have been passed, including the CARES Act and others last year under then-President Donald Trump.”
Wow. What a deal. If first prize is an economy-wrecking, totally irresponsible drunken-sailor spending spree with the promise of more open-ended taxation for stuff we will really need down the road, all I want to know is, what’s second prize?
If the promise of additional tax and spend behavior isn’t an American Crisis, please tell me why in the comments below.
— Richard Edward Tracy