(UnitedVoice.com) – Passing historic legislation is nearly impossible with narrow majorities. Yet, far-Left Democrats with razor-slim margins went full steam ahead this summer anyway. In their wake, they left behind a destructive path of antagonism, hard feelings, and raw bitterness.
On Friday, October 1, reality set in. Moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) put a dagger in the Left’s dreams. They killed the $3.5 trillion partisan reconciliation package the Left planned to use to transform America’s economy into a hybrid-socialist model and trap more people in government dependency.
On Tuesday, October 5, there was hope for Democrats that Manchin might relent. However, on Wednesday, he dashed hopes once again. The centrist senator doubled down on his maximum $1.5 trillion demand and told Democrats to eliminate all but one of President Joe Biden’s three signature policies. By Wednesday evening, a war of words erupted between socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and the West Virginia moderate.
Manchin Made His Position Clear
If there was any confusion after Manchin’s Tuesday statement that he was open to anything, he put a caveat on it Wednesday. Last weekend, President Biden urged Democrats to decrease the bill’s cost from $3.5 trillion to around $2 trillion, preferably and no more than $2.5 trillion. Apparently, Biden is as deaf as the rest of the Democratic Party.
Unless Democrats come down to $1.5 trillion, Manchin said there isn’t much to negotiate. Some far-Left Democrats played down the numbers. They suggested they could keep all the socialist and climate agendas intact by using government accounting gimmicks to bring the number down.
Well, it appears that tactic won’t work either. Manchin upped the game by telling the Left to pick one of three signature policies and get rid of the other two:
- Expanded child tax credit
- Paid family medical leave
- Subsidies for child care
Last Thursday, Manchin posted an open letter explaining he is not in favor of creating a welfare state from the cradle to the grave. He argued that the government couldn’t even pay for Social Security or Medicare. How could taxpayers afford these programs and other left-wing initiatives?
Over the last few days, the moderate senator from West Virginia aligned himself with the House Moderates trying to trim down the package of massive spending proposals. This alliance has put Progressives in a testy mood because they say two senators threaten their once-in-a-generation bill.
War of Words Erupts
In a fiery press conference on Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders struck hard against Manchin. Using language he hoped would sound threatening, Sanders played on emotions. The Socialist senator discussed how the government brought people out of poverty and how Manchin threatened to send millions back. He also suggested Manchin’s ideas would kill the planet. The socialist senator concluded two senators shouldn’t be able to kill the bill.
Don’t miss these crucial points. First, Manchin and Sinema are following our Constitutional system. It’s not 2 senators killing the bill; there are 52 acting in concert. There are 50 other senators not on board with this spending spree. Sanders is offering a false narrative.
Second, Sanders acknowledged the ‘government’ brought people out of poverty. How did they do it? During the pandemic, the government issued direct payments of $1,200, $600, and $1400 to Americans. In July, 35 million families received child tax credit payments from the government in the amount of $300 per child. Congress set the program to expire at the end of 2021. Millions of low-income Americans received thousands of taxpayer dollars during the pandemic. Naturally, that supplement increased their incomes. These aren’t statements about right or wrong. They’re facts.
So, when legislators say people came out of poverty during the pandemic, they don’t tell you how much money the government transferred to them from the middle class and the rich via taxes. Somewhere along the way, Americans will pay for the pandemic spending. When it comes due, will Americans be better off? That’s a debate worth considering.
Last week, Manchin declared he is not a liberal and doesn’t believe in long-term entitlement programs. After Sanders’ press conference, Manchin responded with a simple answer. He does not want to move America toward a full-blown entitlement society. Yet, the country should be compassionate and rewarding.
Suffice it to say, Manchin is consistent. So is the Left. Will there be a compromise? It’s too hard to tell. It depends on how devoted Manchin is to his stated principles and beliefs.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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