I once watched a guy run down a tourist beach in Spain throwing money away.
He literally sprinted over the sand, cackling dementedly as he chucked large wads of bank notes into the air and shouted at everyone to ‘TAKE MY CASH!!’
It seemed like the most wondrously generous thing imaginable and gleeful holidaymakers sprang off their sunbeds like they’d been electrocuted in a frantic race to grab the booty.
But there was a problem.
It was a very windy day, and most of the money flew straight out of his hands into the choppy ocean and disappeared with the strong tide never to be seen again.
The comical scene reminded me of that famous Biblical quote from the Book of Job: ‘The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.’
President Biden reminds me of that guy on the beach, he just loves giving money away.
Biden’s only been President for three months, but he’s already persuaded Congress to spend $1.9 trillion on a Covid stimulus package, and now he wants it to spend another $2.3 trillion on his infrastructure renewal plan.
He claimed it was a ‘once in a generation’ spending plan and boasted: ‘I’m convinced that if we act now, in 50 years people are going to look back and say this is the moment when America won the future.’
Biden’s only been President for three months, but he’s already persuaded Congress to spend $1.9 trillion on a Covid stimulus package, and now he wants it to spend another $2.3 trillion on his infrastructure renewal plan
These moves would roll back his predecessor Donald Trump’s expansive and very popular tax cuts and they’ve gone down like a lead balloon with many of the same business chiefs who had broadly supported the Covid relief package
Rather like the guy on the beach, I’m not sure Biden’s read the wind very well.
It’s all very well tossing trillions of federal dollars around like this, but at some stage, as even the most economically imbecilic know, it’s going to have to be paid back.
And as always, the debt will have to be settled by the American people.
The President insists it will just be the rich who will have to pay more, vowing to only raise taxes on those earning over $400,000 a year.
Indeed, as he announced his new infrastructure plan on Wednesday, he emphatically and unambiguously doubled down on that pledge, saying: ‘No one making under $400,000 will see their federal taxes go up, period.’
That couldn’t be clearer, except that Biden’s own press secretary Jen Psaki has said this limit will apply to whole families, not individuals.
So, if two people in the same household earn $200,000 each, then it’s likely they will both pay more tax which would make a mockery of the ‘no one making under $400,000’ guarantee.
Biden’s also planning to recoup a large slab of the spending costs by hiking US corporate tax rate up from 21% to 28%, and by imposing a global minimum corporate tax rate of 21%.
These moves would roll back his predecessor Donald Trump’s expansive and very popular tax cuts and they’ve gone down like a lead balloon with many of the same business chiefs who had broadly supported the Covid relief package.
The President insists it will just be the rich who will have to pay more, vowing to only raise taxes on those earning over $400,000 a year. That couldn’t be clearer, except that Biden’s own press secretary Jen Psaki (pictured) has said this limit will apply to whole families, not individuals
The US Chamber of Commerce blasted Biden’s plan as ‘dangerously misguided’, the National Association of Manufacturers raged it would ‘turn back the clock to the archaic tax policies that gave other countries an advantage over America’, and the Business Roundtable warned it would create ‘new barriers to job creation and economic growth.’
Biden’s plan is also predicated on a con.
He wants America to think he’s the presidential version of Robin Hood, only going after the wealthy bloated fat cats in Wall Street as he takes care of the little guys.
But if he gets his way on these hefty corporate tax increases, you can bet your bottom dollar that corporate America will simply pass the extra burden back to the consumer – meaning that while most Americans won’t see their individual taxes go up under this plan, they will all end up paying more for their goods.
Not that you would realize this obvious sting in the tale if you only read coverage of the plan in Biden-slathering liberal media like the New York Times.
‘Biden plan stresses jobs, roads and growth’ enthused the NYT’s banner headline, with another of its P1 headlines gushing equally uncritically: ‘$2 trillion for a once in a generation fix of infrastructure.’
The paper’s coverage was so positive that the President’s own White House Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, tweeted out the NYT front page with the jubilant exultation: ‘America: let’s go win the future!’
As Tucker Carlson put it on Fox News, the Times ‘approached the plan with the calculated enthusiasm of Izvestia applauding yet another record Soviet potato harvest.’
Yet if the NYT had bothered to view the plan with a more critical eye, it might have unearthed some rather surprising facts.
For example, less than $750 billion of Biden’s $2.3 million ‘infrastructure plan’ is actually going on any conventional concept of infrastructure.
Much of it is targeted towards ‘green’ projects like electric cars and climate change, along with childcare facilities, science research and care for the elderly and disabled.
In fact, only 5% is dedicated to repairing roads, bridges, highways, train tracks and streets.
Ironically, Biden’s also being attacked for not going far enough by the far-left progressive wing of his own party, led by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who says the plan should be at least $10 trillion. No, AOC. That would bankrupt the country
Republicans have been quick to seize on this disingenuous labelling and signalled their intent to rigorously oppose the plan.
‘It’s called infrastructure,’ said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, ‘but inside the Trojan horse it’s going to be more borrowed money, and massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our economy.’
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy sniped: ‘This is not an infrastructure bill – this is the green new bill with raising taxes. Very little infrastructure in it at all.’
And former President Trump fumed in his usual hyperbolic way: ‘Biden’s ludicrous multitrillion-dollar tax hike is a strategy for total economic surrender.’
Ironically, Biden’s also being attacked for not going far enough by the far-left progressive wing of his own party, led by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who says the plan should be at least $10 trillion.
‘I know that may be an eye-popping figure for some people,’ she said, ‘but we need to understand that we are in a devastating economic moment. Millions of people in the United States are unemployed. We have a truly crippled health care system and a planetary crisis on our hands, and we’re the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. So, we can do $10 trillion.’
No, AOC, you can’t.
That would bankrupt the country.
Her ridiculous comments confirm my fear that large dollops of insanity are creeping into the fiscal debate in America.
The coronavirus pandemic prompted panicky governments all over the world to behave with the same reckless attitude towards money that I witnessed with the cash-tossing beach guy in Spain.
But thanks to the vaccines, we’re coming out of the crisis, and America is coming out of it faster than most thanks to its very impressive vaccine roll-out.
Most experts expect there to be a massive and much needed rebound in the US economy when life returns to relative normality later this year, with gangbusters growth as people get back to spending again.
If that happens, it will have a positive financial impact on every American.
So, the last thing Americans need right now is their President committing to reckless unaffordable spending plans that he can only pay for with huge tax hikes.
‘Put simply,’ Mr Biden said on Wednesday, ‘these are investments we have to make. We can afford to make them, or put another way, we can’t afford not to.’
Really, Mr President?
If you’re not very careful, your plan might just send America’s post-pandemic economic recovery skidding off the rails and back into another financial crisis.
Far from this being the moment you won America’s future – it might be the moment you lost it.