Government Spending

The Biden White House Is Lying About the Democrats' Spending Bill

For Biden, "build back better’" apparently means eyes on everything in the economy.


Bernie Sanders wants better press coverage of the Build Back Better bill? Ask and you shall receive, Sanders. Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie detail the most egregious parts of this giant pile of potential spending. Plus we talk about the Jones Act, all on this Monday's Reason Roundtable.

Discussed in the show:

1:05: The Roundtable sets the record straight after the official White House Twitter account claimed the "Build Back Better Agenda is $0."

33:07--: Weekly Listener Question: I am a Jones Act mariner. While I, and many other American merchant mariners, are pretty libertarian, the Jones Act is the third rail of the maritime industry and turns many mariners away from the libertarian
movement (Cato, Ronald Reagan, and John McCain are not popular among Jones Act Mariners). While I agree with many reforms, like removing the U.S. shipbuilding requirement for Jones Act (that is, domestic) trade, I do not agree with removing the cabotage rules for domestic trade. Airlines, trucking, and trains all enjoy cabotage protections for domestic trade, but it seems that the sights are always on the Jones Act unfairly and the American Merchant Marine. What say you?

39:03: William Shatner went to space!

44:20: Media recommendations for the week.

This week's links:

Send your questions to Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser
Assistant production by Regan Taylor
Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve

NEXT: Steven Pinker: Rationality Has Made Us Richer, Kinder, and More Free

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85 responses to “The Biden White House Is Lying About the Democrats' Spending Bill

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  3. If you support any part of the Jones Act, you are not libertarian. If you support it because "everyone else has its cabotage protection", you are a whataboutist and again not a libertarian.

    1. Yes. When I was in my 20s and earning close to minimum wage, I found myself tempted to support raising the minimum wage, too. This is the price you pay for being principled. Sometimes you have to support or criticize things contrary to your own self interest. That price becomes steadily higher as more and more of our country becomes entangled with the Leviathan.

      1. Is it worth it? I've put my money where my mouth is on principle and it's always bites me in the ass. No good deed goes unpunished and all that.

        1. I mean, yes it is worth it? There is really no cost to being mentally consistent. My buddy asks if I want to raise the minimum wage and I say, "Nah the end it goes against liberty, and has an unseen cost." The minimum wage was going to rise or fall regardless of my stance.

          I find the price of being not principled is much worse. You are always looking for cues from ideologues to tell you what is Good this week vs Bad. That seems mind-numbingly difficult.

          Is there a specific place where being principled had a major cost?

          1. Is there a specific place where being principled had a major cost?
            Well, USSR 1938…Poland 1943…China 1967….Cambodia 1976…Which isn’t to say I don’t admire and applaud those who paid the price…..

          2. Absolutely.

            It's not in regard to the Federal Government, though. There are several hundred million other Americans, you're so atomized your share of what happens is not even a rounding error.

            But principled in something smaller? Say you have a principle that costs you a lucrative promotion at work because your principles are at odds with the job. Maybe you won't sleep with married people and a very hot woman throws herself at you in a fit if loneliness.

            It is all a matter of scale. Somewhere between dealing with one person and dealing with 300 million it gets to the point where it doesn't matter though.

            1. "Say you have a principle that costs you a lucrative promotion at work because your principles are at odds with the job. Maybe you won’t sleep with married people and a very hot woman throws herself at you in a fit if loneliness."

              Maybe I have just not been tested very well. I would be miserable working at a job where I am required to act against my principles. As I noted below, I have spent 20 years in a liberal wasteland of moon-eyed activists, but they have not required me to do business in any way that violated my principles. I have not been required to advocate political positions I detest or lie to my employees. In fact some of the best parts have been using their principles against them when they violated laws on racism or religious bigotry.

              As for hot bodies- I can honestly say I have a brilliant beautiful wife with the finest of tastes in everything except men. There is absolutely, positively zero reason for me to do anything to jeopardize that.

              1. It's not absolute. I despise government almost to the point of anarchy. I don't think the government needs to pay for a military, police, courts, anything really.

                Yet I had a job involving calculating sales taxes. Did that violate my principles? I buy things and pay sales taxes. I pay property taxes and income taxes and who knows what taxes. Do I violate my principles? Should I start yelling about gold-fringed flags in court and documents with an incomplete and/or upper case version of my name?

        2. Actually, let me modify that I guess it depends on what you mean by principled. Part of me being libertarian is that I feel very little compulsion to force my opinions on others. So when they want to engage in their kulture warz, I tend to change the subject or stay quiet. Ask me my opinion, and I will try to draw the principled recommendation with something like "I'm just a libertarian, so my points are inconsequential."

          At my work, where they have drunk the SJW Kool-aid, I quietly (with HR) resist the overtly (har har) racist stuff like CRT, but I am part of management, so my job is to tow the lion or get out. Perhaps I have sold out here...I am not certain.

          Being (in my mind) principled has, I think, been very helpful as I try to pass my values on to my kids. I am competing against marxist teachers and tiktok, but one thing I can do is try to be consistent- something that neither of those parties has been capable of being for the last 4 - 6 years. And one of my kids is very good at bringing up specific stuff because she knows I sympathize with the right. That bastard will be a lawyer one day if I am not careful.

          1. heh, you already got the point before I got done typing.

            1. The one area I have questions about is my work. I personally believe that companies should be able to set whatever values they want, and here in CA, their values are going to skew left. That means employees running Green Groups, Trans Awareness Groups, etc. It means getting constantly "encouraged" to volunteer for very lefty NGOs. But my company also makes it clear that all that crap is voluntary.

              Recently they made some CRT bullshit required and I objected to my HR and told them I would not require my staff to take it. I can only guess I was not the only one, because the requirement was dropped. (Well...Actually, I didn't exactly object...I just sent some interesting questions their way that made them realize that they were instructing managers to make illegal race-based decisions.)

              So, I believe that all these lefty causes are wrong headed, but I also believe my company is free to pursue them. They don't require me to engage in those activities, so it isn't like I am selling out my principles. I am working with someone(s) who has different politics than myself and they are paying me for it. I personally see no conflict there.

              1. "But my company also makes it clear that all that crap is voluntary."

                Problem is...a lot of those things tend to become far less voluntary than one thinks. Not saying in your case, but in others, it tends to head that direction.

          2. Allowing tyranny to happen isnt exactly principled. Sometimes a principled person actually has to make their voice heard and try to fight against the tide.

            1. A recent example... was it principled to watch a woman get raped on a train not wanting to impose your own morals on other people? Extreme example but the government over steps are approaching that level. Leaving political protestors injured in solitary confinement for example.

              1. I have been in a couple situations where I had to intervene to stop violations of the NAP. It hasn't been easy. And it in fact reminds me why people would so much rather have an omnipresent Police Force to do this dirty work for them.

          3. Well said. I'm beyond giving a shit about what most of the rest of the world does. My kids are everything though. I want them to live a life of happiness and fulfillment. From what I can tell, that at least partially derives from maintaining the kind of values that (I think) you're talking about.

        3. You have no principles. So how did you put money on it?

      2. When I was 18 and in Junior College, and ON minimum wage, I wrote to then Governor Schwarzenegger

        Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,
        The California State Senate recently passed a bill that would increase the minimum wage by a full dollar to $7.75 by July 2006. This would give California the highest minimum wage in the country. I am 18 years old and live in San Jose. I am currently attending West Valley College, am being paid minimum wage, and strongly urge you to veto this bill. The minimum wage must not be increased and to do so would hurt businesses and people like me that are on minimum wage.
        The minimum wage is not meant to be a livable wage for a family, it is meant as a stepping-stone to bigger and better things. The minimum wage job creates opportunity for everyone and from there they can work their way up the ladder and achieve the American Dream. It is in that minimum wage job that people gain the first hand experience and knowledge necessary to better themselves, but what if there is no place to start out, no stepping-stone? Opportunity will fade and this is the consequence if we increase the minimum wage.
        Many people would not be where they are right now without a minimum wage job as most people had a minimum wage job to start out with and that is what enabled them to move forward. The minimum wage must remain at its current level so that everyone can have the opportunity that it brings. If businesses must bear the burden of the highest minimum wage in the country, many will pack up and leave to a more friendly state. As you know, California over the last few years had incredibly anti-business laws on the books and our flawed Workers Comp system barely scratched the surface; because of our policies we lost thousands and thousands of jobs. Increasing the minimum wage is just another anti-business move by our legislature and will end up hurting the entire state when businesses leave and take their job opportunities with them.
        Increasing the minimum wage will hurt the people who need it the most and they will most likely see their job disappear. The most unqualified person will see their job evaporate if a business is forced to scale back and drop some employees. The better-off employees will still retain their job or perhaps move to a higher-paying job, but it is the unskilled worker that will suffer the most. Yes, people will have more money to spend, but less people will be earning that money. Increasing the minimum wage will hurt the people it is designed to protect.
        People on minimum wage do need more income, but taking away their job is not the solution. I strongly urge you to veto this bill and any future bills to increase the minimum wage.

        1. "West Valley College..."

          Pretty campus. I took a few GE requirements there one summer in the late 90s, including the Art Appreciation class that's been more personally useful for me than most anything else I learned in undergrad. Life is funny that way.

          What did Arnold write back to you?

          1. I'll assume something like "Screw your freedoms!"

          2. He wrote back saying he would veto it but that he appreciates me as a small business owner etc etc, which means they didn't actually read it

    2. The right stance for that mariner is to oppose cabotage protection in all those other industries too.

  4. The Biden White House Is Lying

    Is it lying when you have no idea what you're saying?

    1. Fuck Joe Biden

        1. FJB; I like it

  5. Biden, you magnificent bastard, I read your damned webpage!

  6. >>For Biden, "build back better’" apparently means eyes on everything in the economy.

    187 year-old racist totalitarian psychopath wants eyes on everything let's act surprised

    1. If you have less than 600 dollars in your bank account and no cell phone, you have nothing to worry about.

      1. Until next year when they want to spy on sixty dollars and your land line.

  7. Personal note, a good friend of mine who is tight with State troopers just reported that an associate of his said that the DOT in Snoqualmie Pass will not be maintaining and plowing this winter because they lost 75% of their staff due to VAX mandate. If it snows, they will simply close it. This is significant if it's true.

    This is THE major interstate that links Eastern Wa to Western Wa along I90, the interstate which runs from Seattle direct to Boston.

    1. So all of the cancers in Seattle will starve? Hahahaha

      1. Quite the contrary. Seattle is a huge port. It is the notably Republican population of Eastern WA, ID, and MT that will suffer.

        There is no amount of FYTW edicts that Democrat governments can issue that the lefties will not tolerate.

        1. I’m all for the hicks in Spokane starving

        2. People can always detour south and take 84 through the gorge.

          1. Snow is plowable, but ice is not. A few years ago, I-84 was shut down for a whole week and trucks were diverting up I-5 through Snoqualmie pass before the Gorge was reopened.

            I worked with ODOT and WDOT for 20 years. Those guys in OR are every bit as incompetent as their counterparts in WA.

            1. If they weren’t such hippies they could use salt or chemicals on the ice.

    2. Shit be hittin the fan.

    3. If a big truck out of Chicago going to WA can't run I90 the alternative routes are going to add a lot of miles and a lot of hours. So much for fixing the supply chain.

    4. I see a bunch of children yelling "You can't make me, nanny nanny boo boo!" while the adults rest their heads in their hands.

      1. What a childish take on personal responsibility.

        1. Implying that a state department of transportation are the adults in any situation is a clear indication of a lack of experience with public works.

          1. Stinking bureaucrats…

            I assume you work in construction or something.

          2. Washington State fired their football coach for not getting vaccinated. I would feel bad for him, but he seems like a shit person. Their previous coach was a shit person too.

            Of course you don’t like football because those uppity n, er a political activists, don’t know their place.

            You liked Walter Payton because he knew his place. He didn’t speak up about over prescribing of painkillers. What a team player. He even died of liver disease. That’s your kind of player Chuck!

            1. "those uppity n, er"

              Yeah, I figured that's what you really thought about blacks, KAR. No quotation marks either so you can't pretend you were actually just revealing dog whistles from Chuck.

              1. It’s obvious I’m referring to Chuck.

                It’s pointless for me to point that out because you’ll just lie.

            2. You liked Walter Payton because he knew his place.

              Payton's 'place' was the endzone. I liked him because he was genuinely likable. His race was never a consideration.

              The nature of the unsubstantiated claims you fling as insults say a lot more about you than me.

            3. WTF is wrong with you?

              1. Can you be more specific with your criticism?

    1. Now Chicago is threatening to withhold retirement benefits of police officers who opt for retirement rather than take the vaccine. Wow, I didn't know a city could do that?

      Why do the "powers that be" want so badly for everyone to be vaccinated?

      1. Systemic racism couldn't stand up to Chicago's police union, but a vaccine mandate can. It's amazing the priorities in this country.

      2. "Why do the “powers that be” want so badly for everyone to be vaccinated?"

        That, is a very interesting question. We're well past mere corruption to ensure that Pfizer makes its money back, at this point.

      3. Let's hope it's simply because they said so and they're not gonna back down. And not something more sinister.

    2. Pretty much every attempt to question government authority is called insurrection these days.

      Unless you take over a few city blocks by force, keep out police, fire and ambulances services, and declare your newly conquered territory an autonomous zone.

      1. It takes a hard lurch PORT to make that LAND grab acceptable (or at least ignorable)

  8. The Biden White House Is Lying
    About a lot of things.

    Pentagon Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Vaccine Mandates On Military, Federal Employees And Contractors
    EUA Products Cannot Be Mandated: Attorneys
    Attorneys argued in the suit that no COVID-19 vaccine is available in the United States that has received full licensing and approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and as such, cannot be mandated.
    Austin, in his memo on Aug. 24 (pdf), stated that the mandatory vaccinations “will only use COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the [FDA] in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance,” attorneys noted, arguing that “additional military documents reveal that the Department of Defense is not following its own directive” and is using vaccines under emergency use authorization [EUA] “because there is no FDA approved vaccine available.”
    Austin’s memo came a day after the FDA issued full approval for future Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, which will bear the Comirnaty label. The latter vaccine wasn’t available in the United States as of Oct. 12, The Epoch Times reported previously.
    The attorneys argued that explicit statutory conditions for an EUA require that people are given “the option to accept or refuse administration” of a given unapproved product that has been authorized for emergency use.
    According to the lawsuit, “Because all COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are subject to the EUA Statute restrictions and limitations, all individuals—including military service members, federal employees, and federal civilian contractors—have the explicit right under the EUA Statute to accept or refuse administration of the products.”
    Attorneys asked the court to declare the vaccine mandate as unlawful because it violates the EUA provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act “by imposing a mandatory COVID-19 shot upon Plaintiffs without giving the ‘option to accept or refuse’ the EUA product.”

    1. It's one big Catch-22:

      Plebe: I would like to work now.
      US Gubm’nt: Not until you take the vaccine. We mandate it.
      Plebe: But you can’t mandate an EUA vaccine.
      US: Correct, but we have mandated this one approved by FDA.
      Plebe: Oh….well…I guess I need to eat, so I’ll take that vaccine.
      US: *Snort* Ahah, right. Good luck finding a dose of that.
      Plebe: Wait, what now?
      US: Yeah the FDA Approved vaccine isn’t readily available. Anywhere.
      Plebe: But I need a paycheck! And you assholes mandated I get a vaccine that isn’t even fucking available!?
      US: Well, the mandate doesn’t apply if you have already taken one of the EUA Vaccines. You could just get that, and you can work.
      Plebe: Wait, I can’t work until I get the FDA Approved Vaccine.
      US: Right.
      Plebe: But I can’t get the FDA Approved Vaccine.
      US: Oh, hell no.
      Plebe: But I can work if I have the EUA Vaccine. Doesn’t that mean you are mandating the EUA Vaccine?
      US: No, we are giving you a choice! No work until the Mandated Vaccine shows up, or CHOOSE to avoid the mandate with the EUA vaccine!
      Plebe: That isn’t a Choice at all, you fucker! The government is forcing me to get the EUA Vaccine or no work!
      US: Hey now, Government is just the name for gaslighting mindfucks we do together, pal!

  9. Wait…Actual LIES are coming out of the WHITE HOUSE?! Have you EVER?! Folks, we’ve crossed the Rubicon….

    1. Are they lies if not in mean tweets?

      1. All I know is that all this lying is making me nostalgic for the 1990s Golden Clinton Era

      2. We don’t have mean tweets anymore.
        Instead there's a sociopathic cabal that wants to watch over almost every financial transaction you make, and labels as "domestic terrorists" any parents who raise objections to their kids being force-fed ideological poison at school. All the while destroying America's borders, its energy independence, its freedom of speech and running ideological purges on its military.

        But thank goodness there's nobody tweeting mean things about Don Lemon's honesty anymore.

  10. "The Biden White House Is Lying About the Democrats' Spending Bill"

    It's really sad to see that the discourse in this country has sunk so low that people casually call the president and his people liars. In the military, I understand they teach you to salute the uniform rather than the man who's wearing it. Whatever you think of President Biden, he is the president of our constitutional republic, and the office deserves a certain amount of respect.

    LOL. Made you look. Fuck Joe Biden!

    Joe Biden is a crook.

    1. I feel your pain, loser.

      1. I doubt you even have the necessary neural precursors to feel your own pain let alone others.

        Also, fuck Joe Friden.

      1. More all-caps goodness from sarcasmic, because when sarc lets Captain Morgan do the driving, caps-lock becomes cruise control for cool:

        September.9.2021 at 11:59 am

        1. Like an addicted gamer he pisses in a bottle. And shits in a diaper.

    2. Well played, Ken. Well played.

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  12. "The Biden White House Is Lying About the Democrats' Spending Bill"

    Many of us have been exposing and criticizing Biden's many lies since the 1980s. But Democrats, left wing media propagandists, and never Trumpers have gone to great lengths to ignore, deny and cover up Biden's lies.

    It would have been helpful had these long time Reason editors raised these concerns during the past six months. But its better late than never.

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