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Saturday, September 11, 2021 Leer en Español

Unlikely Heroes: AOC and Bernie Sanders Could Sink Multi-Trillion-Dollar Spending Plans

Ironically, it's the most socialist members of Congress who may accidentally prevent our country from going broke.

Composite Image by FEE | Phil Roeder via Flickr

Today’s a day that ends in y, so, naturally, a push is underway in Washington, DC to bankrupt the country. But this push could be thwarted by the most unlikely of heroes. 

Here’s what’s going on. Progressive politicians like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are pushing a $1+ trillion infrastructure bill and a $3.5+ trillion “human infrastructure” package that, taken together, amount to one of the biggest expansions of the welfare state in US history. (Even the New Deal pales in inflation-adjusted comparison!) 

However, Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat, just came out against the $3.5+ trillion package. He called on his colleagues to “hit the pause button,” citing rising government debt and inflation. This could effectively doom the multi-trillion package in a 50-50 Senate. But it doesn’t necessarily doom the $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill, which could pass alone. 

That would be bad news for taxpayers, because the infrastructure bill wouldn’t actually “create jobs” as its proponents promise. According to an Ivy League analysis, it would spend all that taxpayer money yet “have a net zero effect on employment, wages, and economic growth over both the medium-term (by 2031) and the long-term (by 2050).” Oh, and the spending plan funnels money toward all sorts of waste and corrupt politician pet projects

Yet despite all these pitfalls, it still seems, on the surface, that Democrats in Congress should have enough votes to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill. But do they?

Ironically, the most progressive legislators in Washington, DC may sabotage the entire spending bonanza. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just revealed that many left-wing legislators are prepared to vote against the $1 trillion bill if the multi-trillion package isn’t also passed. 

“Nothing would give me more pleasure than to tank a billionaire, dark money, fossil fuel, Exxon lobbyist drafted energy infrastructure bill if they come after our child care and climate priorities,” the congresswoman said

Senator Bernie Sanders has taken a similar position. 

“Rebuilding our crumbling physical infrastructure – roads, bridges, water systems – is important. Rebuilding our crumbling human infrastructure – health care, education, climate change – is more important,” he tweeted. “No infrastructure bill without the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.”

It looks very unlikely, at this point, that Congress will have enough votes to pass the multi-trillion-dollar welfare package. If Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, and their progressives allies stick to their guns, this means the $1+ trillion wasteful infrastructure bill won’t pass either. 

Finally, some good news for taxpayers! (For once.) And the most surprising part? Ironically, it’s the most socialist members of Congress who may accidentally prevent our country from going broke.