While they still hold the control of Congress and White House, the Bernie Sanders-Joe Biden administration is hell-bent to jam through a monstrous “build back woke and broke” social engineering and pseudo infrastructure spendathon — by far, the largest debt and inflation-producing legislation in our nation’s history.
Don’t bet the farm on their success.
Even far-left Sen. Elizabeth Warren has recognized that her socialist colleague, now Senate Finance Committee Chair Sanders is a senator “who has good ideas, but whose 30-year track record shows he consistently calls for things he fails to get done, and consistently opposes things he nevertheless fails to stop.”
One of those apparently unstoppable forces is West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition to passage of the progressive Democrat $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
Sen. Manchin’s position on the matter clearly wasn’t mollified after Bernie had the temerity to publish an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette, the state’s largest newspaper, characterizing obstructionists as Republicans “and others” (obviously including Joe) who “want to maintain the status quo in which the very rich get richer while ordinary Americans struggle to make ends meet.”
Manchin responded with a salvo of his own, saying “No op-ed from a self-declared independent socialist” would change his objection to unnecessary spending and a “reckless expansion” of government.
Joined in opposition to the proposed $3.5 trillion price tag by Arizona democrat Kyrsten Sinema, Sen. Manchin continues to insist that $1.5 trillion is his top line. For starters, he wants to strip anti-fossil green energy pork out of the spending.
Included in the proposed reconciliation packages are:
$27.5 billion to local, state, and nonprofit climate institutions that support developing low-emission and zero-emission technology; $20 billion for “national climate banks;” $18 billion for home energy efficiency and appliance rebates; $17.5 billion “to help decarbonize federal fleets and buildings;” $13.5 billion for an electric vehicle charging network; $10 billion for high-speed rail; $7.5 billion for the EPA fund to lower emissions; $5 billion to replace heavy-duty vehicles such as school buses with zero-emissions alternatives; $3 billion for a Civilian Climate Corps; and $1 billion in grants for environmental justice programs at universities.
The new bill would end the $7,500 federal tax credit limit placed on the first 200,000 electric vehicles (EVs) sold by each manufacturer and boost the credit to $12,500 per vehicle … plus grant a $2,500 tax credit for used EV purchases.
A $150 billion Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) which the New York Times calls “the most powerful part of President Biden’s climate agenda” would require energy providers to increase percentage of “clean energy” by 4% year-over-year or face fines. CEPP would heavily penalize coal-and gas-fired power plants that account for the vast supply of West Virginia’s electricity.
It appears that Sen. Manchin may be succeeding in killing this plan.
West Virginia ranks as America’s second-largest producer of coal which provides 91% of the state’s electricity and is also the nation’s sixth-largest producer of natural gas.
Also consequentially, West Virginia is a bright red state that gave Donald Trump his second-widest margin of victory in 2020, and where Joe Manchin is the last Democrat holding statewide office.
The reconciliation bill — which proposes to have the U.S. generate 80% of its power from “clean” energy sources and cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 — would extend and expand “temporary” tax credits for renewable energy sources, such as industrial wind and solar facilities, through 2031.
The federal government has already subsidized these rent-seeking gravy trains to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars over the past three decades, then always renewed them at the last moments before they were scheduled to expire.
Whereas lobbies have repeatedly promised that the wind and solar energy is cheaper than fossils, if true, those subsidies wouldn’t be needed to compete.
As Daniel Turner, founder and executive director of Power for the Future, observes: “Show me a politician saying fossil fuels can be traded for renewable energy while keeping all other aspects of life (cost, reliability, national security) the same … and I’ll show you a liar …”
Characterizing Biden’s and the Democratic Congress’ green energy “obsession” as a disaster, Turner adds: “We are forgoing affordable for expensive electricity. We are forgoing reliability for blackouts. We are forgoing domestic energy for Chinese dependence. Yet these realities are never discussed.”
On top of these economic and energy security disasters, Democrat spending and deficit plans would add $300 billion to Medicare entitlements which will expand automatically without requiring an annual appropriation by Congress … plus simultaneously reduce the Social Security eligibility age to 62.
The far-left socialist entitlement agenda would create a sweeping federal power grab takeover of formerly state and local roles including childcare, elder care, prekindergarten, and community colleges.
Progressives know that such entitlements, once created, are almost impossible to repeal.
Open-ending spending for these proposed environmental and social programs will run up U.S. government deficits exceeding the entirety of those accrued during World War II and equaling or exceeding all but the deepest single-year deficits since 1980.
In the energy sector, natural gas prices — now up about double year-to-date — are racing higher on a combination of concerns over low supply and rising demand as winter approaches.
Skyrocketing energy costs are bleeding into inflation. Some analysts predict that gas prices could double this winter if U.S. production doesn’t increase, and global demand remains high.
Americans are already feeling the pain as electricity and utility gas prices were up 5.2% and 21.1%, respectively, over the last 12 months in August.
With no thanks to Biden administration virulent anti-fossil policies, formerly abundant, inexpensive natural gas and petroleum supplies that had become a reliable feature of a prosperous U.S. economy thanks to sideways drilling and hydraulic fracturing may soon fade to melancholy memories.
Last February’s Texas freeze lifted natural gas demands, a hot June and July draught in the West reduced hydropower production requiring that more gas than normal was needed to power air conditioners, and Hurricane Ida in August added to ongoing shortages by forcing nearly all of the Gulf of Mexico’s gas output offline.
Nevertheless, President Biden has assured us that these massively burdensome spending and regulatory policies won’t really cost us anything … zero.
But let’s wait and see what their desperate overreach attempts cost Democrats in 2022 congressional midterm election casualties.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 10 books, "What Makes Humans Truly Exceptional," (2021) is available on Amazon along with all others. Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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