Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.52 minutes to read.

If Republicans are outraged about something, we’re all expected to treat it as deeply authentic and momentous.

Case in point: CNN reports that GOP senators are expressing new anger at Democrats for working on a “human infrastructure” bill to pass the Senate via a simple-majority reconciliation vote, alongside the “hard” infrastructure bill a bipartisan group of senators is negotiating. Republicans are threatening to tank the bipartisan measure.

But there is zero basis for this supposed outrage. Even more ludicrously, Republicans have already staged this same outrage dance before. Plainly, Republicans are trying to bait Democrats into infighting that scuttles their agenda, which would be political suicide…

McConnell has openly declared his greatest objective is to ensure Biden fails. So it’s pretty clear that the outrage over the Democratic approach is about creating a pretext to potentially accomplish that end (though McConnell may decide his senators need the bipartisan bill for their own purposes).

This is exactly why Democrats can’t take the bait Republicans have laid out. They can’t lapse into infighting that dooms their whole project.

Greg Sargent, Washington Post ($)

Passing a budget resolution wasn’t a problem the last time Democrats tried it, during the COVID relief package debate in the dog days of winter…

This time, though, there’s much broader difference of opinion… Some Democrats would be OK financing the whole package through debt; West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin wants the entire thing paid for; others are in the middle. Some want to leave space within the budget for addressing immigration, expanding Medicare, and everything else on Democrats’ agenda—this is, after all, likely their last big shot at enacting their agenda before their brains transition to midterm election mode. Others would like to steer clear of more controversial topics. All of this makes it much harder to reach an agreement even on the scope of the bill, which may end up being the largest bill Congress has ever passed, if they pass it.

Democrats believe they could reach a “framework” for a deal, however, in the coming days. But as we’ve seen with the bipartisan infrastructure talks, a “framework” for a deal is not a deal. And even if Democrats do reach an agreement on this framework allowing for, say, a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, does that seem like a development that would help with the bipartisan infrastructure talks, or send Republicans running (faster) for the hills, knowing that they won’t be able to trim Democrats’ ambitions?

Jim Newell, Slate

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.47 minutes to read.

The entitlements are by far the biggest long-term economic threat from the Biden agenda. Tax increases can be repealed by a future Congress. Spending on infrastructure will slow as funding falls. The courts may block his racial preferences. But entitlements that spend automatically based on eligibility are nearly impossible to repeal, or even reform, and they represent a huge tax-and-spend wedge far into the future.

The media won’t talk about this, and Republicans are so far missing in action. But Americans need to understand the stakes…

We’d highlight two points. First is the dishonesty about costs. Entitlements always start small but then soar. The Biden Families Plan is even more dishonest than usual. For example, it pretends the child tax credit ends in 2025, so its cost is $449 billion over the 10-year budget window that is used for reconciliation bills that require only 51 votes to pass the Senate. But a future Congress will never repeal the credit…

Second, these programs aren’t intended as a “safety net” for the poor or those temporarily down on their luck. They are explicitly designed to make the middle class dependent on government handouts.

Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

Under cover of “infrastructure” investment, Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and other far-left Democrats aim to push a gigantic new spending package through the Senate using reconciliation, choosing to plow ahead with zero Republican votes.

Progressive Democrats are aggrieved that some of their colleagues have brokered a smaller (actual) infrastructure deal with the GOP, which omits some of their more grandiose ambitions. They want to bloat the budget with a vast expansion of Medicare, subsidies for child care and elder care (a thank-you to the teachers’ unions and the SEIU), spending to combat climate change and perhaps to provide a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally…

A recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll showed 88% of registered voters “very” or “somewhat” concerned about increased inflation; asked what causes inflation, a plurality cited “massive government spending,” money being injected into the economy by the Federal Reserve, and “uncontrollable government deficits.”…

Biden should be the authoritative voice of his party, advocating moderation in light of rising inflation and his party’s vulnerability. He promised not to hike taxes on Americans earning less than $400,000 but increased prices on everyday goods is a tax on everyone, and especially our most vulnerable.

Liz Peek, Fox News