Debt and Deficits

Joe Manchin Is Forcing Congress To Think About the Deficit. Good.

Among Americans who aren't liberal pundits, the debt and deficit rank as major concerns. It's about time Congress noticed.


Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.) didn't play in Wednesday's annual congressional baseball game, but he managed to throw the best curveball of the evening anyway.

In a lengthy statement, Manchin spelled out the reasons he is unwilling to support the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package his fellow Democrats are hoping to push through Congress within the next few days or weeks. "Spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs," he said, "when we can't even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity." Manchin went on to say that he worries about how more government spending might drive inflation even higher, how higher taxes necessary to pay for that spending will make it harder for small businesses to compete with big retailers like Amazon, and how an expanded welfare state might slow the ongoing economic recovery.

Manchin's opinion about these things carries a lot of weight right now. Democrats have the slimmest possible majority in the U.S. Senate, and need all 50 of their members (plus Vice President Kamala Harris) to vote in support of the reconciliation bill or it will not pass. The senator from West Virginia has all the leverage, and he's using it to force the rest of Congress to take a good, hard look at the fiscal mess it's made over the past few years (and, more specifically, since the COVID-19 pandemic began).

"I can't support $3.5 trillion more in spending when we have already spent $5.4 trillion since last March," Manchin said. "I cannot—and will not—support trillions in spending or an all or nothing approach that ignores the brutal fiscal reality our nation faces."

While he did not specifically invoke the $28 trillion national debt or the federal government's current budget deficit, Manchin obviously wants to draw Congress' attention to the massive disconnect between how much the government spends and how much it collects in taxes. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the national debt will exceed the size of the U.S. economy by the end of this year and will continue growing as annual budget deficits pile up over the next few decades. "A growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private activity in international markets," the CBO has warned.

Higher levels of debt mean higher interest costs and larger sums of money that must be dedicated to debt service. Every dollar spent paying for the cost of carrying so much debt is a dollar that can't be used on something else. If interest rates rise even just a few percentage points, the cost of servicing $28 trillion (and counting) of debt will skyrocket.

As Manchin also pointed out, the government is already going to need a lot of dollars to fix the trajectories of the major entitlement programs—Social Security will be insolvent in the early 2030s and part of Medicare will be unable to fully pay benefits in just five years.

But while the senator at the center of the reconciliation bill drama has made clear he won't support $3.5 trillion in new spending, he's been more than a bit vague about what sort of package would earn his vote. There are a few nuggets to be mined from Manchin's statement on that front: He signals support for undoing some of the Trump tax cuts and for means-testing expanded social programs to ensure they are aimed at the truly needy. Those seem like places where Democrats might find a compromise that satisfies both Manchin and the party's progressive wing.

Relatedly, Politico reported Thursday that Manchin offered in July to support a $1.5 trillion reconciliation bill. That plan would reportedly raise corporate income taxes, personal income taxes on high earners, and the capital gains tax. Excess revenue beyond the $1.5 trillion necessary to pay for the bill would reportedly be directed to deficit reduction.

Manchin is hardly the only person worried about these things, though you wouldn't know it by paying attention to Congress or the national media. An April poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 72 percent of Americans rated the federal budget deficit as a "very big" or "moderately big" problem for the country. It ranked ahead of violent crime, racism, the pandemic, illegal immigration, and lots of other issues that get far more attention.

Manchin's Wednesday statement drew condemnation from some public figures on the political left who have decided that there's nothing wrong with massive deficits and nothing to fear in piling up more debt.

In truth, no one is sure how much money the federal government will be able to borrow before a crisis hits—piling up debt is like walking down an infinite hallway with an invisible pit, as Noah Smith has described it. But higher levels of debt are associated with lower economic growth even in places that haven't suffered major meltdowns. The surely catastrophic consequences of America going through a major debt crisis demands that even a small risk of one must be taken seriously. And there is no arguing with the fact that we are now in uncharted territory.

"America is a great nation but great nations throughout history have been weakened by careless spending and bad policies," Manchin said Wednesday. "Now, more than ever, we must work together to avoid these fatal mistakes."

Republicans and Democrats have mostly abandoned any interest in fiscal responsibility. But Manchin has decided, for whatever reason, that deficits actually do matter. And, right now, he's got the power to make the rest of Congress listen.

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  1. At last, a Democrat uses the phrase “fiscal insanity” for endlessly running up the debt at throwing trillions to “address” climate change.

    Of course, his answer is to raise taxes and increase spending by only a few trillion dollars instead of several trillion dollars, but it’s about time someone on that side of the aisle noticed we’re out of blank checks.

    1. Him having a signed agreement with Schumer that Schumer is denying he agreed to is…*chef kiss*

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      2. Schumer is a shameless lying shitweasel of the first order. I doubt he cares too much if he gets caught once in a while.

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    2. Who cares about debt when we could be cutting taxes! Aaaargh!

      1. Stings to have your pogrom’s economic knees cut out, don’t it? Get used to it, Dems and their fascism are on the way out.

      2. We need to cut spending. A 100% tax rate with no exemptions would not cover our spending.

        1. Around seven years ago, someone calculated that it would take 20% of the GDP of the whole world to pay for what we spend. This includes unfounded liabilities that are excluded from budget deficit estimates. I’m sure that percentage is significantly higher now.

          The democrats and RINOs must be dispose of, and soon. Or we won’t have any standard of living. It will be much worse than Venezuela.

          Surely the lives of committed progressives aren’t more important than preventing that outcome.

      3. Cut both. The first one requires adults in the room to set responsible spending limits.

      4. Trump and bush’s mistake were not doing both.

        1. You have to bribe the mob if you want to win.

      5. Democrats believing tax cuts are equal to spending. Luld be their most ignorant economic take.

      6. I’d be okay with no more tax cuts if they just started to cut spending for once.
        And I’d rather deal with an honest Dem who wants to raise taxes 1.5 trillion for a 1.5 trillion dollar spending plan, instead of saying a 3.5 trillion dollar spending plan is free.

    3. Have any of the Reason staff provided a mea culpa for voting for the worst Libertarian President we have ever had? It is hard to take any of them seriously after what could only be described as retarded insanity.

      Do they at any moment in their lives, feel shame for their actions, or do they just wash it down with high-dollar booze at their must-go parties?

      1. I wasn’t aware we ever had a Libertarian president in modern history. We have had somewhat libertarian(ish) presidents. But that’s a highly subjective topic. Reagan was a great president and had both conservative and libertarian views. “80 percent my friend, not 20% my enemy” – RR. Something Id still like to believe.

    4. And yet they have yet to provide any empirical evidence showing that spending this money will stop climate change, so the debate about whether human induced climate change is real or not is moot point. No need to be a climate change “denier” to see the green deal has nothing to do with climate change. Just my opinion as an Engineer with training in industrial lifecycle cost analysis, so what do I know?

    5. You do know that taxes and spending are two sides of the ledger, right?

      1. Hey look! Tony learned something!

      2. Did you just discover that?

  2. “Spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs,” he said, “when we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity.”

    Oh look, the emperor has no clothes.

    1. New clothes will add at least $2T to the reconciliation bill.

  3. It’s almost like he’s putting the interests of West Virginia voters over the interests of the Progressive Internet Caucus who sent him to the Senate to advance their agenda. I don’t get it.

    1. He must not have received the “those people don’t matter” memo from the coastal elites.

  4. yeah, it has been a while since a POTUS gave a fuck about the deficit. Biden doesn’t – Trump certainly did not (King of Debt for real).

    It was Obama who cut the previous POTUS deficit in half.

    Proof in link – wingnuts don’t accept that fact

    1. Goddamn, man. Are you actually capable of posting something that doesn’t mention Trump? You’re fucking ridiculous.

      1. No, it’s all Trump all the time.

      2. Yes. Sometimes he posts links to child porn.

      3. You do know the Trump Cult is camping out here? If they would go back to Breitbart he would be forgotten.

        1. Dude, you ARE the Trump cult.

          1. The left can’t quit Trump.

        2. I don’t sit and think about Trump in a daily basis. You do.

          You are the Trump cultist. Not any of us.

    2. Cutting the deficit in half is nice, but it means the fedgov is still spending billions more than it’s taking in. So it’s a limited achievement at best, and that’s being naive enough to trust that no bookkeeping gimmicks were used in the creation of this story.

      1. Obama was able to cut the deficit on half because the need for spending to deal with the Near Depression of 2008 abated a year or two after he was inaugurated.

        1. The payouts from tarp went put in 2008 and 09. The paying went in from 2010 to 2012. That is the primary delta. Idiots like strike are too dumb to inspect their beliefs.

        2. Deficit spending never works…its keynsian astrology. If govt was an investment (espcially at the federal level) we would not be running a deficit. And since the deficit is paid by inflating the money supply it is a tax..on the poor and middleclass while enriching the well connected like the hedge funds, political elites and the various complexes like the military, educational, healthcare.

          The Federal Govt should just raise taxes to pay for all these programs and then let’s have a rational discussion on if we need 90% of the Federal Govt.

          My god how anyone in 2021 can believe in this keysnian bullshit is beyond never works..never

      2. Yeah, its kindof like saying “I cut my drinking back to just one fifth of whiskey per day”

    3. Is this the same politifact that took Biden’s, Harris’s and Cuomo’s anti-vaccine statements and labeled them “mostly false” because their intent was just to troll Trump?

    4. “Cut the deficit in half” just meant we were going bankrupt a little slower.

      Regardless, Obama had nothing to do with it. Presidents pretty much never do. The credit (and blame) goes to the Congress at the time.

      1. I disagree, though I don’t give much credit* to Obama since he fought the Republicans every step of the way. The president has a big bully pulpit and can do a lot to twist arms to get their party members to fall in line. Biden is right now putting the full press on the moderates and just today Arizona Dems just fired a shot at Sinema for defying Biden’s priorities. On the other side of the aisle you had Trump putting the screws to the Repub Congress, who had just fought tooth and nail to get the sequester, to turn around and end it. That doesn’t excuse Congress for bending to the will of the executive but presidents do have their thumbs on the scale.

        *he did sign it so he gets credit for that.

      2. Wrong, Obama fought for the sequester and the Grand Bargain.

    5. We get it, Trump was worse on spending and the deficit than Obama and (Bill) Clinton. But Biden is about twice as bad as Trump.

      1. Trump supporter: It’s okay because Biden is worse.

        1. Unfortunately, right now nothing can be done about Trump’s irresponsibility. We can only deal with Biden’s.

        2. Brandy: the money is the government’s. Letting you keep your money is government expenditure.

        3. I’m not a Trump supporter. But it’s not honest to cry “both sides” when one side is 2x as bad.

        4. Fuck off Brandy. You disingenuous shitbag. No one here was happy when Trump signed on to those huge spending bills. But the part you leave out is how he was up against veto proof majorities in every case. Thanks to all. Democrats, and RINOs. Trump could have veto’s all of them, and maybe he should have. But then, lying leftist weasels like you would attack him for that too.

          It’s not us who are to blame for all this. It’s you, and your democrat friends. You should be begging us for forgiveness.

      2. Actually that is exactly what is happening if these new bills pass.

        1. You’re a child molester, we should find out who you are and get your pedophile ass prosecuted. You belong in prison. Sick fucking piece of shit.

    6. Still in TDS hell I see.

    7. Even for a guy who lies all of the time, that is a whopper.

      Obama didn’t cut shite. The Republicans cut the deficit while Obama was President. All you need to do is look at Obama’s budgets to see what Obama was trying to do.

      Trump, conversely, cut regulation and tried to cut departments and reduce spending, and was dragged to the table to sign the budget bills brought to him.

      You are a pathetic parody of a retard.

      1. You’re full of shit.

        Obama led the sequester then set up the Simpson Bowles Commission to deal with the deficit. It got shot down by a couple of stupid progressives that wanted no cuts and a couple dumbass conservatives who wouldn’t compromise.

        Both Senator Coburn and Obama supported it.

        1. Obama and his cohorts normalized the stimulus spending from the financial crisis. Although he didn’t try to legalize your pedophilia.

      2. And what do that actual deficit number show???
        Obama TRIPLED the budget right out of the gate. And kept it TRIPLED until EXACTLY TO DATE WHEN Republican had both the Senate and House and then the TRIPLED (Obama + Democrats) budget got cut in half. Of which the Trump + Republican government maintained for the first year and STILL even with COVID going on didn’t manage to get back to the TRIPLED deficits (Obama + Democrats) maintained for 4-Straight Years.

        Oh; And then Biden + Democrats got control of government and the deficit are WHERE NOW???????????????

        UR lying out of your *ss like nobodies business.

        1. Liar.

          You’re an idiot.

    8. “”Proof in link – wingnuts don’t accept that fact””

      You are ignoring the fact that it was a republican controlled house that did it. Not Obama.

    1. She’s gonna kill people with this stunt. It’s almost as if the governor of New York is required to come up with a way to increase the death rate of its citizens.

      Because, yeah, all the other states have a huge surplus oh healthcare workers.

      1. “We need more healthcare workers to replace the ones we just fired. So I’m going to activate a nurse already working in a hospital, throw her in fatigues, put her right back in the same place, and claim we’ve added a worker.”

        And that nurse will be thrilled to have her paycheck cut in the process.

        1. At least the logic is consistent with other progressive thinking like MMT

        2. So much easier to get rid of these people. People like her have no right to exist. No communist does.

      2. And they all wanna move to New York, just before winter.

    2. “I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say, we owe this to each other,”

      A leftist proclaiming themselves to be God.

      1. The whole quote is worth considering to show how vomit inducing these democrats truly are. From the linked Reuters article:

        Hochul attended the Sunday service at a large church in New York City to ask Christians to help promote vaccines.

        “I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say, we owe this to each other,” Hochul told congregants at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, according to an official transcript.

        “Jesus taught us to love one another and how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, please get the vaccine because I love you and I want you to live.”

      2. And the article is about NY’s governor calling in the national guard to replace the healthcare workers who refuse to get jabbed.

        So out of one side of it’s mouth, Hochul is spouting Jim Jones level bullshit, and out of the other it’s calling the National Guard to replace people that are getting fired by decree.

        The Democrats are evil, power mad totalitarians. What’s it going to take for that to sink in?

  5. Always nice to see a politician actually doing the right thing for his or her constituents.

    1. Unless you’re not from Arizona or West Virginia:

      Progressives calling Sinema a “train wreck” for not wanting to blow an extra 3.5 trillion we don’t have:

  6. If I’m understanding all this correctly, the $1.5 trillion “infrastructure” bill and the $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” bill are over and above the federal budget, which is what, another $3 trillion or so? And naturally all of this is going to cost more than advertised.

    Sounds like it’s time to start minting those $1 quadrillion coins. We’ll probably need quite a few of them.

    1. Dr. Evil’s initial ransom in Austin Powers V will be for one trillion dollars.

    2. Dean Baker, progressive’s version of Paul Krugman, literally suggested this exact thing earlier this week at CNN.

    3. The baseline budget is already at 6 trillion. Don’t forget the 2.1 trillion dollar stimulus plan that already passed. But these two new 4.7 trillion dollar monstrosities we don’t need and can’t afford are spread out over 10 years. So figure 6.8 trillion or so per year.

      1. Thanks, it’s hard to keep track. No doubt they do that on purpose.

        1. “A trillion here, a trillion there, and eventually the money is *FUCKING WORTHLESS*.”

          Sorry, I know I messed the quote up…

    4. a gubment NTF coin coming to a late night info-mercial near you! Commemorative NFT COIN!

    5. I’m hoping the trillion dollar bill (a’la “Snow Crash”) has Obama’s face on it.

  7. Now that you manchin it, this is a good thing.

    1. If they made a movie about the debt ceiling, the infrastructure bill, and the reconciliation bill and the long, hot summer, it would make good Sinema.

  8. Bidens nominee to regulate banks is something else….

    Admires Russian economy. Wants to completely transform the banking industry.

    1. In two papers, she has advocated expanding the Federal Reserve’s mandate to include the price levels of “systemically important financial assets” as well as worker wages. As they like to say at the modern university, from each according to her ability to each according to her needs.

      1. Except they say “their” ability and “their” needs at the modern university.

        1. They might be moving to “txir” abilities and “txir” needs because having “he” in the middle of a gender neutral pronoun is too gendered.

      2. She shouldn’t be a candidate for any government position. She should be in prison for practicing Marxism.

    2. Now we know who is laundering money through Hunters artwork for cabinet positions, pipelines, and access to ‘The Big Guy’.

  9. “‘Spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs,” he said, “when we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity.”‘

    Just add “endless wars” and a few other things, and it almost covers it.

    1. We just got out of a “war” and the first thing we did was raise the Pentagon’s budget.

      1. Hey — peace is expensive. Because….hmm

        1. Things. And stuff. They’re both really expensive.

          1. Payback to donors and bundles doesn’t come cheap.

  10. “…the national debt will exceed the size of the U.S. economy by the end of this year…”

    It already did, long ago. 2021 GDP is 22.7 trillion dollars. The national debt is 28.8 trillion dollars.

    But it’s worse than that. GDP includes government spending. The federal government is projected to spend 6.8 trillion dollars this year. So GDP minus govt spending is only 15.9 trillion dollars. The national debt is nearly twice that (181%).

    But it’s even worse than that. Debt to GDP is a bogus ratio. Debt should be compared to income (which is tax revenue for the govt). Federal tax revenues in 2021 are projected to be 3.86 trillion dollars. So the debt to income ratio for the federal govt is 7.46. Meaning it would take 7 and a half years to pay down the debt, if the government did nothing else at all.

    1. “if the government did nothing else at all.”

      Go on, I’m listening… 😀

  11. “Manchin is hardly the only person worried about these things, though you wouldn’t know it by paying attention to Congress or the national media.
    Republicans and Democrats have mostly abandoned any interest in fiscal responsibility.”
    So according to Boehm, the Republican’s near unanimous opposition to the reconciliation package indicates they have abandoned fiscal responsibility. Um, what?

    1. Both parties find their commitment to fiscal responsibility the moment they’re in opposition.

      1. In what session(s) of congress that had Democrats in the minority did they oppose an increase in spending?

        1. Republicans had all three branches during the first two Trump years. Look how responsible they were!!!

          No more covering for those chuckleheads. Irresponsibility is irresponsibility however it happens to be done.

          1. Yep. Lot of RINOs. So how does that excuse Biden wanting an $8.2 trillion baseline budget?

    2. Trump ran massive deficits (and added to them with tax cuts). Bush 43 ran massive deficits, plus the funding for the Iraq war that apparently “didn’t count” because it was emergency funding (and added to that with tax cuts). Reagan ran massive deficits (and added to them with tax cuts). Republicans are just as fiscally irresponsible as Democrats, they just add to the deficit in different ways.

      If you want to decrease the debt, the first step is to STOP RUNNING DEFICITS. Tax cuts should be the first thing to do with any surplus, but first we have to STOP DIGGING. For the love of God, put the shovel down!

      Stop increasing spending. Stop creating new social programs. Stop giving massive corporations welfare. Stop expanding existing social programs. Stop demonizing the rich. Stop demonizing the poor. Stop using dynamic scoring, delayed/early sunsetting provisions, or any other economic tricks. Stop pretending deficits only matter when the other guys are in the White House. Just stop.

      Balance the budget. Because otherwise, nothing will change.

      1. Based on this histogram (which only goes from 1901 to 2009) that shows the federal debt as a percentage of the GDP and the parties in control of the senate, house, and executive branches, it looks like when the GOP held both houses in the period of 1995 to 2005 there was some fiscal discipline. It also shows reduction of debt after WWII regardless of parties in power.

      2. So you support the removal of all democrats and all RINOs? That’s the only way a balanced budget will happen.

        1. Not even a little bit. The social hellscape that would create would be awful.

          And the ‘not-RINOs” aren’t any more responsible with the deficit than the Dems or the “RINOs”. Remember, Trump’s tax cut was based on supply-side economics, which is a boondoggle.

          There’s almost no one left in American politics who care about the deficit. Or at least that care about it more than their party.

  12. In truth, no one is sure how much money the federal government will be able to borrow before a crisis hits

    I don’t see that happening until interest on the debt exceeds what the feds can extract from taxpayers. Then shit will get ugly.

    1. Grabs calculator….

      Tax revenues are still under 4 trillion per year and it’s hard politically to raise them much more than that. Soaking the rich doesn’t work because the rich have the best accountants and attorneys.

      When interest rates hit 10% again, any debt over 40 trillion dollars will become unmanageable. So at the current rate, in about 4 years.

      1. I don’t see interest rates going up again. Ever. Not while the Fed is in charge. Also have to factor in inflation, which is already happening. See it every time I buy groceries.

        1. Terrible prediction. Just wait until the great die off of boomers.

        2. Who will keep loaning money to the federal government and to big banks at 1% interest when inflation is at 5%? The Fed is using duct tape to seal a sinking ship. Eventually you run out of duct tape.

  13. Several interesting things. Senator Manchin is talking about spending and debt when he is in the majority. He is not like the Republicans who discovered the national debt when they became the minority.

    While it is too much to hope for, House moderate Republicans could take the wind out of the Progressive sails by simply helping passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill. This would wipe out Progressive leverage.

    Finally Republican Senate moderates could get behind a smaller bill proposed by Senator Manchin and show both the far left and far right where the real power is located.

    This and other day dreams I have had.

    1. …or they could say no to BOTH needless wastes of money.

      There’s always that option.

      1. I agree get out the wasteful spending and leave that which is necessary. But remember you need compromise. It can’t be my spending is necessary but yours is not.

        1. It can be none of this spending is necessary which is damikesc’s point.

          1. They’re never gonna cut that crap. Never. We can talk about it until we’re blue in the face, but they won’t do it. Too much risk of getting themselves unelected.

        2. Given that the GOP is not needed at all for this…why compromise at all? It’s all superfluous at best.

          Democrats have wanted to push this down the GOP’s throats. So…let them do their best.

      2. Only a moron would think funding infrastructure is a waste of money. Our infrastructure has facilitated immense growth throughout our nation’s history.

        What kind of dumb, flat out moronic statement is it to say it’s wasteful? Did you think for even 2 seconds before writing that drivel?

        1. We’ve spent, in case you are as oblivious as you seem, A TON on infrastructure for YEARS.

          Where the fuck has that money gone?

          And why the fuck should we give these idiots MORE?

          PROVE it’s necessary. Point out the provisions in this bill that are truly vital to the country as a whole.

        2. Just another fucking leftie who doesn’t understand jack shit.

        3. Except it’s not infrastructure. That only takes up a minority next to the pork and redefined Prog wishlist.

          Are you willfully stupid or does it come natural?

        4. “Funding infrastructure” and the government funding infrastructure are two separate things which overlap only if you’re lucky enough to have a congresscritter on the right committee who is owed enough favors by other congresscritters. And that’s still no guarantee that the infrastructure you get is something you actually need. For instance a “light rail” line that doesn’t go anywhere except over land the congresscritter “just happens” to own is far more likely.

          1. Yeah, Albuquerque recently spent a whole fuck ton on “infrastructure” whose main effect was to permanently fuck up the main street in town (the aptly named “Central Avenue”) and put a whole bunch of local businesses on the road out of business even before Covid did a bunch of the remaining ones in. For a special bus that nobody uses.

            And that’s after a previous governor blew the entire budget surplus Gary Johnson built (and then some) on a train that nobody rides…

            1. They keep doing that kind of shit with unwanted and unneeded bike lanes where I live.

              Putting progressives to sleep really will be doing God’s work.

        5. And they still won’t fix the traffic problem on rt. 8.

          I am disappointed that they are not having a government shutdown. I think they are worried that we will find out we don’t need it.

    2. First… multiple Republicans combined and voted no on expenditures when the gop was in the majority you retarded fuck.

      Second. Spending another 1.5 trillion when 2.5 trillion in excess is already spent isnt a compromise.

    3. How about no bill at all?

  14. He’s full of shit and just covering for his rich buddies, like usual.

    If you wanted small businesses to compete with Amazon you’d probably file antitrust suits against them- not coddle them endlessly.

    Case in point- the bill polls well in WV- his home state and would do wonders for the people there.

    1. Another leftie who doesn’t know what “antitrust” means.

    2. Raspberry, nobody knows what’s in the bill. So it’s “free stuff”. Which is always popular.

      1. Well, let’s pass it to see what’s in it!

      2. The poll was in the guardian article and was only about the EITC and child tax credit.

        He is another retarded lefty

    3. Is that the sound of bitter, salty Prog tears hitting your nanny state keyboard I hear?

      Fucking delicious. Mmm.

    4. If you wanted small businesses to compete with Amazon you’d probably file antitrust suits against them- not coddle them endlessly.

      Democrats are giving Amazon everything it wants: massively increased regulations, increased minimum wage, new taxes, COVID lockdowns, etc.

      Democrats are on a mission to create and support tech monopolies, while destroying small businesses.

      1. Neofeudalists gotta make new lords and serfs somehow.

    5. The best thing for West Virginians is if all you progs to be rounded up and disposed of like garbage.

  15. Cite of these polls, please.

    1. They have yet to make misinformation illegal, and even then it only will apply to conservatives.

  16. Manchin is in this for himself, he’s trying to extract something and he’s got time. By next year he can either say look what I did to stop the spending, and also say look at the great money I brought to W Va. He’s just like Byrd.

    1. replace and also say with or also say.

  17. Manchin isn’t being principled. No politician should ever be thought of in those terms. Manchin is reacting to the fact that this Green New Deal spending is deeply unpopular in West Virginia, and Joe Biden’s popularity is circling the drain. Outside of deep blue states and districts, Biden is unpopular like Jimmy Carter was unpopular.

    Take a look at these numbers from Iowa:

    [31%] of Iowans approve of how Biden is handling his job, while 62% disapprove and 7% are not sure, according to the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll.

    That’s a 12 percentage point drop in approval from June, the last time the question was asked. Biden’s disapproval numbers jumped by 10 points during the same period . . . .

    Biden’s job approval rating is lower than former President Donald Trump’s worst showing in the Iowa Poll. The former Republican president’s worst job approval was 35% in December 2017. Other recent presidents’ worst Iowa Poll results: Barack Obama, 36%, in February 2014, and George W. Bush, 25%, in September 2008.

    —-Des Moines Register, September 21, 2021

    Iowa swings back and forth between parties. Iowa isn’t like Wyoming–where the Democrats have little chance of winning.

    If you’re a Democrats from somewhere other than a deep blue district, Biden and the leadership are expecting you to commit political suicide by voting for this $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. Don’t be surprised if Biden or Harris faces a Democrat challenger in 2024. Democrats everywhere need to be worried about the polls in Iowa, and the people of Iowa are by no means radical or unusual.

    If the moderate Democrats defeat the progressives over this $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, it won’t be because of Manchin or some politician’s principles. It will be because Biden and the progressives lost whatever mandate they had, not that they had one to begin with. The American people were voting for a return to normalcy, and what they got was radical progressives instead–and they hate it.

    1. The approval rating of Joe Biden is 31% in Iowa!!!

      Every Democrat that ran for President last time should challenge again for 2024. Anybody could beat Biden in Iowa, and all the Republicans, outside of deep blue districts, that run against Biden in the midterms will do well.

      1. The next year will be either 1939 or 1989.

      2. Nice cherry pick Ken. Biden’s national popularity by 538 is higher than Trump’s at this point in his term, and Trump didn’t have to follow through on leaving a lost war during his 1st summer. Long way to go until 2022 and 2024, and the GOP has won only won popular vote for President in the last 8 elections. The last time they had Senate members representing a majority of Americans was in 1996.

        1. You cherry picked the data as usual. Biden is a fucking moron and his stats are proving it. His popularity is WORSE than Obama’s was in 2010 and it was a slaughter. The democrats are going to get decimated in the 2022 congressional midterms. No fantasy of yours is going to change that. Their margins are too slim.

          1. The map and history are also against the Dems. If they don’t get decimated in 2022 it will be shocking. Especially considering all-red legislative/executive states outnumber all-blue states significantly and gerrymandering alone will give the GOP a lead in the House.

        2. Consider the whopper of a lie you passed along below, Joe, I don’t believe you!

          Go ahead and link to your stats. You’re word isn’t good for anything.

          In the meantime, it doesn’t matter if Joe Biden is more popular than Trump was–when you include California, Massachusetts, and New York. Those aren’t swing states. Do you not know what that means?

          The question is how popular Biden is in places like Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and the answer is that he’s pretty much hated in Iowa right now–and that should scare the shit out of everyone who isn’t in the Progressive Caucus.

          1. PS Ken, you should remember the old trial lawyer’s truism – Don’t ask a question unless you already know the answer.

          2. PS to the PS Ken, you should also note that of the 9 SC justices, 5 were appointed by President’s not elected by the people, but by the EC through a-constitutional winner take all contests. One SC seat was stolen from a twice popularly elected president, and therefore from the people. GOP federal level power these days is based on minority rule in all branches and lacks the support of the people.

        3. Except Biden is coming off a record setting popular vote haul on election day (or the day after), and his popularity has been sinking ever since.

      3. Biden is like a retarded and senile LBJ. And after only eight months.

        1. Guy, Biden kicked Trump’s ass in both debates and nailed his SOTU speech – one of the best ever and I’ve seen a lot of them. Senile people don’t nail speeches, even on a teleprompter.

  18. Manchin obviously wants to draw Congress’ attention to the massive disconnect between how much the government spends and how much it collects in taxes.


  19. Meanwhile, the Progressive Congressional Caucus is looking to run a Democrats to challenge Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona:

    What are they thinking?!

    Do they imagine that Democrats would do better in Arizona if only their Senator were a radical progressive instead of a moderate Democrat?

    Do they imagine that Kyrsten Sinema fears being called a conservative Democrat by radical socialists in Arizona?

    They’re just trying to bully her into voting for the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, but they’re resorting to insane arguments to do it.

    1. Ken, Mark Kelly is favored to win the 2022 senate race in Arizona by 20 points right now.

      1. Mark Kelly is not exactly a radical progressive, although I still wouldn’t vote for him.

      2. Where are you getting your information?

        Here’s where I’m getting mine:

        “In a head-to-head match-up between Kelly and Brnovich, Kelly leads 43 percent to the attorney general’s 39 percent, according to a OH Predictive Insights survey. Kelly received 44 percent to McGuire’s 37 percent; 43 percent when paired against Lamon, who took in 36 percent; and 44 percent of versus Masters’s 35 percent.

        —-The Hill, September 30, 2021

        Kelly: 43%
        Brnovich: 39%

        43% – 39% does NOT equal your “20 points”!

        Did you make that number up? If not, where did you get that information? Please link it so we can know to never trust that news source.

        1. P.S. Here’s a link to the actual poll:

          Kelly: 43%
          Brnovich: 39%

          I suspect you pulled that “20 points” out of your ass, but link it if you can!

        2. Ken:

          “Which party will win the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Arizona?”

          Democratic 61 to 41

          These are odds, not polling percentage and i apologize for no being more clear.

          In any case, Mark Kelly is on board for Biden’s agenda and not suffering for it.

          1. You’re talking about a penny betting website rather than the polls?!

            1. Always go with the prediction where money is on the line. Polls are notoriously inaccurate. California was at 48-52 to recall Newsom, but it ended up at 35-65.

              1. Not when you’re talking about penny bets.

                These people are risking 62 cents!

              2. People don’t play penny slots because they believe in the outcome.

                They sit there with a roll of pennies and play for fun.

                It’s like putting quarters in an arcade game or a pinball machine. It’s about fun, and there’s no predictive power in fun.

                P.S. And if their bets are informed by anything other than the polls in Arizona, what is their speculation based on? When Cowboys fans bet on the Cowboys to win the super bowl, is that predictive? Or are they just spending money to enhance the experience of fandom–like when they buy a Cowboys coffee mug?

                1. I always paid penny slots because I ran out of quarters.

      3. You can’t be this retarded.

    2. Sinema started as a Green party activist. Kelley is not being punished for supporting Biden’s agenda. Sinema is seen by Democrats as flaky and untrustworthy and disloyal and possibly insane.

      That she was a Green gives me a clue that she’s a mole out to destroy Democrats. Back when she was a Green, she was vocally in favor of abolishing the filibuster. So something funny’s going on inside her head.

  20. While he did not specifically invoke the $28 trillion national debt or the federal government’s current budget deficit,

    Oddly enough, Manchin (unlike Reason, apparently) recognizes that spending itself is the problem.

    Reason authors, for some reason, seem to think that deficits are the problem; apparently, when high spending is balanced by high, progressive taxes, the faux libertarians at Reason are happy!

    1. Deficits are the first problem. Cutting spending is a path to balanced budgets, but no matter how it happens we need to eliminate deficits or the debt keeps growing.

      1. Deficits and debt are not the problem, spending is and only spending.

        If you keep everything the same and raise taxes in an attempt to reduce the deficit/debt, you make Americans worse off.

    2. Manchin countered that he’d be okay with spending an extra 1.5 trillion on social programs/new benefits, if they are paid for with tax hikes, and if they are means tested.

      He seems really opposed to blowing 2 trillion we don’t have to “address” climate change. Gee, almost like he’s from a coal mining state…..

  21. It’s truly sad that our standards in modern America have gotten so low that Joe Manchin is what qualifies as a political hero these days, but he does. One of the last old-school democrats left who actually cares about working people and still loves his country. And I mean “love” in the traditional sense that normal people still use when they say they love their country, not the twisted psychotic “It’s because I love you so much that I want to destroy what you are and transform you into something completely different” definition that Obama and the rest of the far left lowlife scum use.

    Manchin still genuinely loves America the same way that a parent who loves his ten year child refuses to allow the child to drink an entire liter of soda in a day. Because when you love someone, you don’t allow them to ruin themselves by doing or getting whatever they want when you know that it’s horribly bad for them. There aren’t very many left in the democratic party anymore who can make this claim, but he can.

    1. So your favorite type of Democrat is a paternalistic father figure who treats voters like children? Interesting.

  22. “Among Americans who aren’t liberal or conservative pundits, the debt and deficit rank as major concerns”


    1. Nope it’s still wrong.

  23. Chris Hayes is a grade A+ buffoon.

    1. He should be put to death for his Marxist propaganda. Treasonous little beta fuck that he is. If a gimp had his own gimp, that would be Chris Hayes.

  24. Manchin may be the only person in Congress who *actually cares* about our nation today and in the future. The rest are just selfish ideologues with no math skills.

    1. It’s worse than that. They can do math, they just look at the right thing to do on one hand and the priorities of their donors on the other hand and consciously choose to ignore the math and pander to their big-money masters. It isn’t the parties that drive the priorities, never mind the politicians. It is the people cutting the checks.

  25. Among Americans who aren’t liberal pundits? Hahaha.

    Please, no one cares but Reason readers. And about half of them are only fanning themselves in disingenuous concern.

    Say it with me, folks: “Deficits don’t matter.”

  26. Politico released a document signed by Manchin and Schumer showing exactly what Manchin’s demands were in order to support the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. You can read it for yourself here:

    The most interesting thing about it is that it’s dated July 28, 2021.

    The Democrat leadership has known that Manchin wouldn’t support anything with the $3.5 trillion number for two months. He won’t support anything more than $1.5 trillion according to the agreement he signed. Meanwhile, his support for that is conditional on things like the Fed ending quantitative easing. He also says that anything appropriated over $1.5 trillion could only be used for debt reduction . . .

    Based on the agreement he signed with Schumer, Manchin was never about to sign onto the budget reconciliation bill. The progressives were blind men in a dark room looking for a black cat that was never there–and they’ve been doing it since July 28th. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that they didn’t find it.

    1. If Manchin and Sinema can find three more Dems and 5 Republicans who were willing to stand up to deficit spending from both parties we might have something here.

      1. Most Democrats don’t want to deficit spend on this. Manchin and Sinema are the biggest champions of deficit spending in this whole deal.

      2. There are already nine in the House.

        Pelosi can only lose three of them.

        I am shocked the called off the vote again tonight.

    2. Which taxes would you like to raise in order to reduce the national debt?

      I think we can both agree that taking away basic healthcare benefits from the poor and old would be a monstrously immoral alternative to simply trimming off the top of the net worths of a few gazillionaires. There is no moral system ever devised that would permit that as praiseworthy. Except yours, of course.

      1. Your measure of morality appears to be based entirely on materialism. Your goal is equalization of materialism so any use of force or threat thereof is never ever immoral. How could it be otherwise?

        1. There are no moral systems that permit the poor to starve in order for the rich to afford excess luxury. There are systems that allow for that, but they’re called things like “tyranny” and “bad.”

          A prominent example of a moral worldview that explicitly forbids the arrangement libertarians would impose on us is that developed by one Jesus H. Christ.

          How mind-numbingly absurd to claim that you’re articulating a moral system that permits no consideration of the well-being of humans beyond the inviolable sanctity of their bank account.

      2. Sell off established Medicare and Social Security to private entities. Open them up competition. And at the very least; Give it to the State’s. At least at the State Level it isn’t an act of treason against the very definition of the USA. When Nazi-State’s go bankrupt they won’t have anyone to blame but themselves.

        1. “Open them up to competition.”

          I saw a Dave Rubin clip saying something along these lines. Oh, it was that California housing costs could go down if we lowered taxes and “opened up the housing market to more competition.”

          You people don’t even care if what you’re saying makes any goddamn sense, do you? Open up old-age subsistence to competition?

          How much competition? The successful companies are the ones that can fit the most old people into the fewest number of hot dogs without affecting the taste?

          1. Funny you’re pretending that competitive sales of retirement-accounts is a sale of old people. Talk about not making, “any goddamn sense”.

            Think of it like car insurance. The best thing about ‘private’ company insurance is contract law requires it to be honest and the worse thing about Gov-Gun toting companies like Social Security is not only is it a Gun enforce monopoly, there is no other abstract tool to ensure any justice within it? i.e. The criminals are the justice system.

            1. Hahahahaha. You think car insurance companies are… HONEST?

              Bwahahahahahahaha! ???? ???? ????

              1. If you don’t think so; you’re are more than welcome to file your complaints in small claims court -OR- even start your own. The good thing about free-enterprise is YOU have the option to do it better.

            2. The law to which you refer is also a government-enforced monopoly.

              1. Run Tony run; Your tail is getting away! 🙂

        2. Pal, you don’t even understand how apostrophes work. Maybe leave the worrying about government programs aside until after you finish third grade at least.

          1. So that’s the future of the Nazi-Regime? To maintain their ego by complain about apostrophe’s? You leftards are pathetic.

  27. Awesome! A very few Democrats appear to be showing signs of having some potential for not fully supporting the Nazi-Regime take-over of the USA… I hope more of them will get there fast….-er!

  28. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema should set an example leave the Democrat party and become independent. With this example hopefully other independent minded elected officials with a modicum of integrity will follow suit and leave their respective authoritarian parties.

    Neither Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema could be considered to be libertarian, but they are arguing for a degree of fiscal sanity. At least on this issue they should be considered allies to Libertarians, libertarians and other independents who support fiscal sanity.

    Schumer should feel the heat and lose his leadership role not because he is pressuring Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to capitulate the the authoritarian demands of woke progressives. Rather Schumer should go because he a epitome of what is wrong in our politics.

  29. I’m not sure exactly who Chris Hayes may be, but he clearly knows nothing about economics.

  30. Time to wait for the DNC version of “Break a deal, spin the wheel” and see what happens.

  31. This is easy to understand. Republicans explode deficit by gigantic giveaways to the rich at the expense of everyone else: no problem. Democrats try to help everyone, not just the rich: deficits are not only a problem, but the only problem. This hypocritical article makes clear that the only time a deficit is a problem is when a Democrat is in office. Every Democrat in the last 40 years has had to clean up deficits after Republican presidents.

    1. Your lies are so blatant you’re just trolling for attention.
      And let’s get one thing straight. The only way Gov-Guns ‘help’ anyone is by ensuring Justice – not by STEALING (that’s what criminals do).

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