Full Speed Ahead

Despite recent election results and perhaps because of them, House Democrats continue to push ahead with two massive spending bills.  To some the recent election results indicate a lack of support for these big spending moves while to others it seems to show a need to try and pass them now while they think they can.  The latter position seems to be the motivation behind the full speed ahead approach House leaders are taking.  Never mind that there is no CBO scoring for the so called Build Back Better plan, something Democrats have in the past insisted on for Republican backed bills.  Also overlooked by this push are the concerns of moderate Democrats who are facing their own upcoming elections.  Not to mention the seemingly growing concerns in the Senate.  There’s no doubt something in these bills that probably appeals to almost everyone.  The infrastructure bill certainly contains many of the things agriculture has long pushed for.  This puts agriculture in a difficult spot.  Ag groups have not only supported the infrastructure bill but some have already praised portions of the Build Back Better bill for the money that will go to conservation and other programs they support. I understand why they are doing this.  They figure if the government is going to pass out this money then they need to be sure they get their share.  It’s their job to do so.  Still it’s important to look at these bills as a whole.  Despite unbelievable claims that these bills will cost us nothing we know that they will cost us something and probably a lot.  Claims that they will be paid for by taxing the rich sounds good to most of us because we don’t think of ourselves as rich. However the math doesn’t add up.  Taxing the super rich won’t be enough to cover the costs of these bills.  Economists tell us one of the worst things to do in inflationary times is to add more government spending.  It’s like pouring gas on a fire.  Inflation, which is already here, is a tax on all of us.  Spending and wages may go up but they don’t keep up with the cost and price increases that are taking place at the same time.  It becomes a race to the bottom.  I respect those elected officials who dare to stand up, even to their own political party, and say let’s slow down and see if we can really afford these bills and are there things in them that shouldn’t be.  As we all know from our personal lives, there is often a difference between what we want and what we need and sometimes even things we need we know we can’t afford.  We all make those decisions every day.  We get to make those decisions on how to spend our money.  Unfortunately Congress also gets to decide on how to spend our money.  Time will tell how good those decisions are.