It’s finally here, kids! Democrats have put together a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill that, according to them, will cost us zero dollars. If you’re like me, and God help you if you are, you’re reaching for your brown BS flag to challenge the math. Now, if we only had a press corps that would do that job for us…oh, well. We can’t expect the media to stop cheerleading for the Biden Administration and start doing their jobs, right?
Anyway, the infrastructure bill is full of Leftist pet projects, including (and I’m not making this up) “tree equity.” The Reader’s Digest Condensed Version of the idea is it’s not fair poor people don’t have trees in their neighborhoods, so the federal government is going to fight the problem by planting trees. A noble idea, to be sure, but I’m not sure if I trust the same government that can’t figure out how to pass an actual budget to plant a flower bed, let alone a tree.
Oh, but don’t worry! All $3.5 trillion is accounted for thanks to tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. That means, according to Leftist logic, it won’t cost us a dime. Wellll…not exactly.
I will admit this next part of this entry is as boring as an Al Gore speech, but it’s important to understanding the situation and the lies surrounding it. I promise not to go into too much detail because, really, there isn’t any need for it. Like your appendix or another “Scary Movie” sequel.
The zero-cost claim is based on a bit of creative bookkeeping on the government’s part. What they do is spend the money over a few years and attempt to “pay it off” through increased income, i.e. taxes. Slap a popular idea on it and everything works out for the best.
Except when it doesn’t, which is most of the time.
A glaring problem with this approach is the fluidity of money. Thanks to market forces, inflation, and confidence in the strength of the dollar, what you buy today may not be able to buy as much tomorrow, and that includes government spending. And when you’re dealing with the kind of numbers we are now, it gets expensive.
Then, there’s a looming tipping point when the takers outpace the givers. For now, we’re on the positive side of that, but we’re a lot closer to the edge than we think. Leftists will reply, “Well, that’s because the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share,” and for once I agree with them. The rich and powerful in America are not paying what they owe to keep this country afloat.
They’re paying much more.
As of this writing, the wealthiest 1% pays around 40% of the tax burden. Although the Left says this is only reasonable given how much money they’re making, the fact we expect such a small percentage of Americans to support close to half of our tax burden is concerning. By the time you get to the top 25%, the tax burden is almost completely paid in full. I don’t know about you, but that seems a bit…unfair.
And the Biden Administration wants the rich to pay more than their fair share so they can pay their fair share?
I’m just as confused as you are.
The other thing to keep in mind regarding government spending is it’s never enough. There will always be some new wrinkle that only the government can screw up…I mean fix. And what’s the best way the Left can come up with to fix problems? That’s right, kids: throw more money at them! I mean, it’s worked with public education, right?
Let’s take the “tree equity” part of the spending bill, for example. During the rollout phase, invariably someone will say “This is great, but what about X?” And, just for the sake of an example, let’s say X is Antarctica. The sensible thing to do is realize trees may not grow there because, well, it’s Antarctica. The Leftist thing to do is create Make Antarctica Green Again and send millions of taxpayer dollars to whatever Leftist think-tank came up with the dumb idea in the first place. And, surprise surprise, it will always find a way to get funded year after year, even after it’s been determined trees don’t grow in Antarctica.
But I’m sure this infrastructure bill will be different…
The biggest underlying flaw with the no-cost idea is it defies common sense. No matter how many offsets you claim will occur, there will still be costs involved. Time, effort, sweat, and, yes, even money go into every endeavor we undertake from putting trees in Antarctica to getting up in the morning. And, yes, I know Leftists are trying to make a distinction between net and gross costs in trying to justify the zero-cost statement, but remember these are the same people who think free college is going to be a thing. Of course, I wonder who’s going to tell college professors they will be working for free…
Regardless, there is a lot of room to doubt the Biden Administration’s claims the proposed infrastructure bill will cost us nothing, mainly because the Left and economic literacy aren’t on speaking terms. Meanwhile, we will be adding more debt to future generations to address long after we’re gone.
But at least we’ll get “tree equity.”