It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has shut down President Biden’s “Build Back Better” initiative. He has been threatening to do so since the summer. During that time the senator previewed all the issues that disturbed him. As an aside, I’d like to know who dreamed up the inane title of this legislation. Is it grammatically correct?
Manchin is a centrist Republican in Democrat clothing. He is the most popular politician in West Virginia even though he is a Democrat. Note: Trump carried the state by 39 points in 2020.
Manchin is extremely concerned about his constituencies and the risks to West Virginians affiliated with new eco-strategies, before technology is developed. Why stop or encourage decreases in production of fossil fuels when so many electric facilities need it to operate? Why create a dearth of coal in the US that may necessitate importation of the resource from other countries?
Manchin found himself in the enviable (or maybe unenviable) position of being the pivotal vote for Biden’s spending extravaganza, and entitlement smorgasbord. It’s not Manchin’s fault that the Senate is divided 50-50. The real problem for Democrats is that they are trying to make gargantuan social and economic changes that could markedly change America for decades with razor thin margins in the houses of Congress. The Democrats strategy was (is) a fool’s errand.
Manchin is concerned with inflation. Is this a foolish perspective? Costs of critical purchases, including gasoline, have skyrocketed in recent weeks for all Americans. Should politicians ignore the potential ramifications of a presidential plan to jam new entitlements down the throat of Americans if they increase costs to consumers further? There is no consensus about this issue among economists, so why isn’t moderation a reasonable position? Hopefully, inflation inflationary pressures will recede, and new initiatives can be reconsidered at that time.
Legislators often shroud new spending to make it seem less expensive. They play tricks, sometimes assuming an end to funding by applying sunset clauses. The cost of an entitlement that is scheduled to end in 10 years is obviously much greater than the same annual installments over five years. Sometimes legislation is assumed to end when everyone knows it will not. Democrats are using a number of tricks and faulty estimates to decrease the expected cost of the legislation. Manchin has called his colleagues on this issue.
And one other note. If you’re attempting to solicit the cooperation of a fellow senator, of the same party, why would you denigrate him or her and make it personal? Fellow Democrats are calling Manchin a liar! This is not a savvy tactic to change a person’s behavior.
What has Manchin done politically? For one thing, the West Virginia senator has single-handedly halted an ill conceived, progressive initiative that would be detrimental to the country. It’s too big. We are in danger of an inflationary crisis.
Expediting grand climate change initiatives before technology is updated would potentially create huge energy shortfalls for the US and make us dependent upon other nations.
Trying to change our country dramatically without a real mandate in Congress is folly.
The downfall of this legislation is yet another reason to not vote for Democrats in 2002 or 2024.
As I wrote in earlier blogs, Manchin could become a factor in the 2024 presidential campaign, maybe as a Republican presidential candidate.