Joe Biden

Biden Willing To Compromise on $2.3 Trillion Spending Bill So Long As It Spends $2.3 Trillion

The president loves big government for its own sake and doesn’t really care what it does.

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Joe Biden's presidency is not even three months old, yet it's already become clear that he prioritizes bigness—specifically, big federal largesse—for its own sake. Biden seems to believe that bigger government is definitionally better government, almost independent of the policy specifics, so he's pushing for bigger government just about any way he can. 

Biden's first big piece of legislation, the American Rescue Plan, was a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that had almost nothing to do with coronavirus relief. But Biden made the explicit argument that it was good because it was big and not small: 

Similarly, Biden argued that a $600 billion Republican counterproposal—still fairly large by historical standards but small when compared to Biden's $1.9 trillion—was simply too small. Bigger was better. Smaller was therefore worse. 

This notion that bigness, especially when it comes to federal spending, is inherently good, has now become Biden's topline negotiating position for his infrastructure plan, which as currently construed would cost about $2.3 trillion.   

In a speech yesterday making the case for his new proposal, Biden indicated that he'd be willing to compromise on some of the particulars of the plan. But the one thing he wouldn't accept is doing a lot less. 

"Compromise is inevitable," Biden said. "We'll be open to good ideas in good faith negotiations. But here's what we won't be open to: We will not be open to doing nothing. Inaction, simply, is not an option." Relatedly, he mentioned that his main objection to the Republican counterproposal on the earlier recovery plan was that it was simply too small. He might have been willing to go somewhat smaller, he suggested. But not too much. Because less spending, in his view, would have been inherently worse. 

He didn't quite say he wouldn't sign a smaller infrastructure bill, and it's possible to imagine a somewhat pared down package passing. But he was reasonably clear that a large topline spending number was a major priority. Biden doesn't care all that much how the government spends $2.3 trillion, just as long as it spends about $2.3 trillion on something. 

Put differently: He's not all that concerned about the merits of the policies and programs that this money would fund.

This helps explain how Biden ended up proposing a giant infrastructure plan with $1 trillion or so in spending that plainly has very little to do with infrastructure. 

It's also why one of the biggest chunks of money in the plan is a $400 billion lump fund to home health care through the Medicaid program that has essentially no programmatic specifics attached. As Matthew Yglesias writes in his newsletter this morning, it's a $400 billion "black box."  

It's $400 billion because $400 billion is a big number, not because any policy wonk has identified a specific set of reforms that demand this particular number. It's not that there are no issues with long-term care, but there's no real theory behind Biden's call to spend this particular amount rather than another. A wonky theory, to be clear, wouldn't necessarily make it a good policy; but this doesn't even rise to that level of debate or analysis. This is just spending without a theory other than that spending is good. It's one more way throw a lot of money out the door. 

To the extent that there is a discrete objective here, it's to funnel money to Biden's political allies in labor, specifically the Service Employees International Union, which represents many home health aides and would see a substantial boost from Biden's boosted spending

Less than two months into his presidency, Biden increasingly sees himself in historic terms. That's driving his legislative strategy. The president recently held a secret White House meeting with historians, Axios reported, "that included discussion of how big is too big—and how fast is too fast—to jam through once-in-a-lifetime historic changes to America." Lo and behold, both Biden and the historians agreed that this was the time to go big: "The historians' views," according to Axios, "were very much in sync with [Biden's] own: It is time to go even bigger and faster than anyone expected."

Even at this early date, I think it's fair to say that Biden's presidency will be a big one. But that won't make it a good one.

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  1. FYI, it’s not just that he “loves big government” it’s WHAT he thinks that big government should be doing that’s so terrifying.

    1. He doesn’t seem to care what big government is doing as long as it’s BIG!

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  2. Joe’s worried about his legacy, he knows he doesn’t have much time.

    1. His legacy is racism. At least it will be when President Harris writes her memoir.

      1. The President should never talk down to a proud woman of color!

      2. We don’t even have to wait for that.

        His 50 year long legacy is already racism.

  3. TRUMP PROVED DEFICITS DON’T MATTER!

    (AOC and other ignorant progs)

    We’re fucked.

    1. This retarded take brought to you by NAMBLA.

  4. At least he’s not Trump. Trump turned me into a Newt!

  5. I mean, he’s got a long way to go to catch Trump still so…

    1. Pelosi is behind the spending and was during Trump’s time.

      Democrats, not republicans are touting 2T + legislation.

      1. Quit lying. Trump said he wanted more spending than Pelosi did.

        Trump Now Says He’d Rather Go Bigger Than Nancy Pelosi’s Stimulus Bill After Republicans Fought for Smaller Package
        BY KATHERINE FUNG ON 10/20/20 AT 8:59 AM EDT

        Newsweek.

        Trump is the self proclaimed “King of Debt”.

        1. Cite on the passage of that ask?

          1. President Donald Trump is now saying he would rather spend even more on a bill than the $2.2 trillion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues have pushed for.

            “I would be willing to go more, because I think the government, we get the money back,” Trump told Fox News on Tuesday. “It gets the money back anyway, and it’s better than unemployment and all the costs associated with the alternative.”

            He added, “Not every Republican agrees with me, but they will. I would rather go bigger than her number.”

            original source Fox News

            pitiful Big Gov Con Man

            1. Annnnnd DID they go bigger? No. So Trump is therefore not responsible for spending that never happened, you blithering nitwit/I mean Mr Buttplug

            2. Plus, you dishoneat POS, you took the quote out of context. He was talking abiut the $600 direct payments, which was a small fraction of the boondoggle Nancy negotiated. He wasmt talking about dumping money to into lefty slush funds

              1. He doesn’t understand trumps ask was 1 trillion less.

              2. “Plus, you dishoneat POS, you took the quote out of context…”

                turd is a liar; never for a minute believe anything he posts, including “and” and “the”.

            3. When did it pass? Reading comprehension. Remember?

        2. Oh look, shreek forgot to change his sock. Again.

    2. Still living in the past.

    3. He’s been the president for 3 months while Trump was president for 4 years, shreek, but since you routinely pretend that all of Obama’s spending was foreordained by Bush I guess you’re going to be sticking with this line all through the next 20 months of Biden’s presidency before he shuffles off to that big inpatient dementia facility in the sky and Willie Brown’s side piece gets into office.

  6. Somehow every president gets worse and worse until they are just babbling idiots. Anyway we all know who is really in charge and why they will never let an outsider into the club.

    1. I can’t wait to see what we get to choose from in 2024. Even the LP candidate manages to get worse each year. The “libertarian moment” was 2012, it’s all over for us.

      1. Your LP choices for 2024 will be Caitlyn Jenner and Chaz Bono. They can flip to see who’s on top.

        1. I lol’d.

        2. You’re full of it. It will by Caitlyn Jenner and Vermin Supreme.

  7. Suderman and some of the other staff need to have their noses rubbed into the pile of shit that is Biden.

    1. Suderman thinks Biden has an enchanting, musky aroma.

      1. It carries the whiff of the grave, a sacred place to be sure.

        1. Old Spice will soon be marketing Really really Old Spice.
          You can never get enough old people smell.

  8. Shouldn’t that headline read “As Long,” not “So Long?”

  9. $2.3 Trillion? Hell, I can do better. I say we spend $2.4 Trillion!

    1. You are now reaponsible for the spending, per Mr Buttplug

  10. Let me be clear: The risk in this moment isn’t that we do too much — it’s that we don’t do enough.

    LOL–I guess this really is Obama’s third term, since he’s apparently writing Joe’s social media posts for him now.

  11. Just listening to him is nauseating this is kind of like that family photos from the turn of the century when people would pose with dead relatives in family photos after they died ! This guy for all intent is Brain Dead!!!!! Look for chaos to erupt with Russia/China soon as they now realize its a good time to strike as Biden is too clueless to understand the threat we face Notice how Europe /China/are going their own way and working together ! And someone tell Harris to quit laughing she is so unprofessional she sounds like a horse laughing

  12. The Fed’s balance sheet is at $7.7Trillion. Maybe Joe wants to carry on Obama’s legacy of being the Pres who added a digit to that figure and needs the $2.3T to put him over the top before they make him step down or get taken out via 25A?

  13. Spend all you want, we’ll print more.

    Neither of the two thug parties will ever admit to any culpability for anything anymore, and both will blame each other when the debt (or the interest on it, or the margin call from China, or whatever) ultimately creates a massive crash. And both parties of partisan ass kissers will continue to scream at each other.

    Arguing that “my party didn’t overspend as obscenely as yours” will look pretty stupid at that point.

    Dems and Republicans should be done. Less than half the voting population affiliates with them. Time to do whatever we can to end their oppression and destruction.

    1. Meanwhile, the current ruling filth will put the blame squarely on the workers with no end of increased taxes in likely sight.

      Go to hell, Biden, and quickly.

  14. Biden has spent essentially his entire career in government so it’s no surprise that he thinks more government per se is the answer to everything. It’s just another form of narcissism.

  15. Just print a quadrillion dollars and get this over with, please.

  16. Given the left’s philosophy over the last several decades it’s hardly surprising. The key to spending is the ability to steer it to their cronies. Who cares what it’s for. Frank Biden will “have” a company up in no time.

    1. Yes, Joe Biden, in the twilight of his life, ran for president during twelve global crises in order to funnel money to his favorite cronies…. with the help of Congress.

      If that’s the guy’s evil plan, I kind of think we should let him get away with it. An evil genius is better than an evil retard.

      1. It’s not genius to do the usual thing presidents do all the time.

        1. If I were as cynical as you, I feel that I would be unhappy.

          1. If I was as poor as you, I’d find something better to do.

          2. If I was as stupid as you, I’d do the world a favor and die.

            1. I never understood why people continue to engage with Tony. He is typically a lying, uninformed, shilling, troll. It’s so much easier just scroll right past him.

  17. “a $600 billion Republican counterproposal”

    To be fair that counter proposal was going nowhere as it was only 10 Republicans. If you had 25 Republicans offering that counter proposal the President could work to a middle losing some Democrats and some Republicans to get to 60 votes. If you start out a counter proposal with the very minimum number of votes needed your not going very far.

    Same applies here. If Republicans want a counter proposal they need to show some votes behind it. Ten votes is not going far.

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  19. We have freedom to do whatever we like as long as we decide to do exactly what they want us to do. Or in other words, we don’t have any freedom. For all the talk about Trump being a wannabe dictator the past 4 years, Joe Biden has expressed more dictatorial positions, however the corporate media is crickets regarding reporting about Biden’s abuse of power.

    Just because Trump was a bad President does not make Biden a good President. In my opinion they are both bad and neither suited to hold the power of the Presidency. Joe Biden is not President, so the corporate media needs to report fairly and stop protecting Biden.

  20. The Democrats are the party of government, big government, and proud of it. Their position on pretty much any issue will be the one that most benefits the governmental class(with wings both inside and outside the public sector) which is the core constituency of the Democrats. For example: Democrats claim to be the great defenders of civil rights, but their definition of civil rights is limited to those rights which do not seriously inconvenience big government.

  21. I thought Biden was a compromiser, but the only group he’s forged compromises with is the left wing of his own party.

  22. This is so beyond crazy that I’ve got to believe that behind closed doors there is a deliberate plan to destroy the value of the dollar so our massive debt is inflated away onto the backs of savers. This will yet again squeeze the middle class just like the failed “ Great society“ plan of the 1960’s. Reminds me of us not learning from our “fixing” Korea and Vietnam during that period and repeating the same stupidity in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can’t fix stupid.

  23. In an era where a Republican…or should I say a “Republican” president used executive powers to enact restrictive gun laws…I can only imagine the pressure the Dems are putting on Biden to abuse his executive powers. All of this week’s executive orders are clear signs of the things to come that undermine the three separate branches of government. Thanks Donald…seriously though we have been moving towards this for a while…but I definitely feel like we are now in fast forward mode.

    1. That’s REALLY stupid. Democrat abuses executive power and you blame the previous Republican. “But, he established a precedent”, you say. I guess, if you completely ignore his Democratic predecessor’s abuse of executive authority and the Republican abuses before that and the Democratic abuses before that.

    2. So how many EO’s did trump issue a d how does it compare historically? Do you work for MSNBC?

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