Only in Leftieland is $1.5 trillion considered a ‘compromise’ | #socialmedia

You know things have gone crazy when a trillion dollars is considered a compromise.

Yesterday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) insisted he cannot support a reconciliation bill costing more than $1.5 trillion — $2 trillion less than most Democrats want. And he insisted that this bill must be fully offset.

“I can’t support $3.5 trillion more in spending when we have already spent $5.4 trillion since last March,” he said. “At some point, all of us, regardless of party must ask the simple question — how much is enough?”

Manchin’s Democratic colleagues continue to express exasperation, saying they had already compromised down from Bernie Sanders’ $6 trillion demand. Progressive activists on social media have erupted that Manchin may as well join the Republicans.

In reality, the Manchin backlash reveals how far leftward the Democratic party has shifted. After all, Manchin already voted for the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill in March, and helped craft the $550 billion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate. He also voted for a budget resolution that increases the discretionary spending baseline by $1 trillion over the decade. Even supporting “only” $1.5 trillion in new reconciliation spending brings a total price tag of $5 trillion across these bills. And that’s before Congress cancels the fake expiration dates meant to hide the true costs of policies such as the extended child tax credit.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) arrive to vote on a temporary government funding bill to avert a shutdown on Sept. 30, 2021.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

So in today’s Democratic party, supporting a mere $5 trillion spending spree in a span of eight months earns progressive demands to be stripped of committee assignments and purged from the party.

A little perspective: $5 trillion in new spending (of which $3.5 trillion would be borrowed) dwarfs the size of the recent $1.5 trillion tax cuts, and exceeds the entire 20-year cost of the war on terrorism. And Democrats are piling this inflationary borrowing spree on top of $6 trillion in (mostly-necessary) pandemic debt, and $12 trillion in baseline budget deficits over the next decade.

This is no longer your parents’ Democratic party — or even your older brother’s party. Previous Democratic presidential nominees John Kerry, Barack Obama, and even Hillary Clinton each proposed federal spending expansions of between $1 trillion and $2 trillion over the subsequent decade. Those candidates also proposed roughly equivalent tax increases (with varying credibility) to at least give lip service to controlling the deficit.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to reporters as he arrives at the US Capitol on Sept. 30, 2021.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
This is no longer your parents’ Democratic party — or even your older brother’s party.

By contrast, candidate Joe Biden promised a staggering $11 trillion in new spending, combined with $3 trillion in new taxes. His agenda would increase the debt held by the public — $17 trillion before the pandemic — to $44 trillion a decade from now. And yet Biden was considered a centrist compared to the fantasyland spending sprees proposed by rival candidates Bernie Sanders ($97 trillion over the decade), and Elizabeth Warren ($40 trillion).

Surely no one in the media would describe a Republican plan to cut taxes by $11 trillion as “centrist.”

But this is where today’s Democratic party stands. There is no longer any room for moderates, or even Obama-style liberals.

Brian Riedl is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Follow him on twitter @Brian_Riedl

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