First Down Payment on a Boondoggle, by James Rickards

Nothing is scarier than bi-partisanship. When thirteen Republican congress critters vote for a Democratic spending bill, you know a pork fest is coming. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second the US government sets a new record for the largest debt ever incurred since humanity first started borrowing money. From James Rickards at dailyreckoning.com:

Thirteen Republican congressmen crossed the aisle late Friday night to help pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. The original proposal was $2.3 trillion, so some Republicans consider it a victory.

But it creates programs that will likely remain in place once the bill’s spending authorization expires in five years. Like Ronald Reagan said, “Nothing lasts longer than a temporary government program.”

And at 2,700 pages, you can be sure there’s plenty of wasteful pork in it. Only about one-third of that money goes toward actual infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels, roads and airports.

The rest is for vague causes like “human infrastructure,” which includes training, oversight and other government intrusion favored by the Democrats.

Still, there was enough real infrastructure in the bill to gain bipartisan support. But this so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill is only one part of a more ambitious “infrastructure” package.

“Don’t Move, or I’ll Shoot”

The other legislation is a $1.75 trillion welfare bill (this figure used to be $3.5 trillion, but it was scaled back at the insistence of moderate Senate Democrats).

Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats were holding the infrastructure bill hostage as leverage to get the Senate to agree to their priorities on the welfare bill.

This strategy backfired both because the Senate does not like to be played by the House and some Democrats would have been happy if the welfare bill failed entirely.

The House hostage strategy was like holding a gun to your head and saying, “Don’t move, or I’ll shoot.”

Senators say, “Go ahead.” This muddle is entirely procedural. But what about the actual substance of the bills?

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