Economy

Biden Administration Hopes for the Build-Back-Better Bill Dashed

By Dave Pulver

Senator Joe Manchin (D) signaled Sunday that he would not vote for the spending bill known as Build-Back-Better.  The Senator said that he couldn’t find a way to explain to West Virginians why they should have to pay for spending on this scale.  He stated that the country should focus more on issues like inflation which directly affects everyone’s pocketbook.  Manchin negotiated with the White House and Senate Democrats for five months, reducing the size and scope of the bill to $2 Trillion.

The original House version of H.R. 5376 was 2,463 pages in length and would have appropriated over $3.5 Trillion in new spending. There are 1,456 dollar allocations within H.R. 5376.  These allocations run from eyeglass prescriptions to neutrino research.  The word “research” appears 274 times, and “construct” appears 281 times.  A conservative analysis of the bill (only allocations exceeding $1B) reveals over $36 Billion associated with forestry-related global warming concerns.  There is $2.25 Billion to establish a new class of Federal employees called Civilian Climate Corps, the scope and charter of this department being loosely defined.  A related department called Environmental and Climate Justice is also proposed.  The bill focuses heavily on equality.  The word “disadvantaged” appears (53) times, and the word “justice” appears (30) times.  $3 Billion was allocated to a planting program designed to increase “tree equity” for “disadvantaged” areas.

Over $66 Billion was allocated to childcare and $90 Billion to improve Indian Healthcare.  Over $260 Billion was allocated to housing.  Of the Billions of dollars allocated to renewable energy, only $408 Million was allocated to the Office of Nuclear Energy.  Nuclear energy does not emit greenhouse gases.

Supporters of Build-Back-Better touted the bill as re-imagining American Society, combating global warming, achieving social justice, and improving the economy.

Opponents saw Build-Back-Better as an example of massive Federal overreach and a waste of tax dollars.  Especially when unemployment is at an all-time low, the stock market is running near record highs, and inflation is a national concern.

*Dave Pulver is a retired communications engineer of 35 years.  His interests include aviation, motorcycling, civics, history, and politics.

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