We Are Governed by Children

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Sometime around mid-day last Friday, as the headwinds blew strongly against the $3.5 trillion reconciliation boondoggle, the White House and their allies in Congress decided on a new messaging strategy: Just say it costs nothing.

Yes, in the fantasy world our political leaders inhabit, $3.5 trillion “costs zero dollars.” That was the line Joe Biden dropped on September 25th. Worse, the media have run with that idea, arguing into absurdity that tax cuts that let you keep more of your own income “cost” money but huge, multi-trillion-dollar spending bills are somehow free because of tax hikes that may or may not produce what is claimed.

Of course, what happens when you raise taxes on corporations while spending gobs of money the government doesn’t actually have? A normal adult would say that the costs are largely passed on to consumers via higher prices with a bonus increase in inflation to also deal with.

But we are not governed by normal people. Rather, we are governed by children.

I’m curious what economic principle is being cited in that clip when she claims it’s “unfair and absurd” for businesses to raise prices in response to higher tax rates. You see, unlike the US government, any spending of money by a business, small or large, does actually cost them something. They can’t just go to the CBO with a bunch of accounting tricks. They have to balance budgets and pay workers, all without the benefit of a printing press they can fire up anytime they need more cash.

That reality means that the White House can’t simply virtue signal the planet they desire into existence. Here on earth, things cost money, and when you make it more expensive for restaurants to function or for a service to be provided, consumer prices go up. That’s not malicious. Rather, it’s a recognition that economics does not care what some mediocrity in Washington is saying on the taxpayers’ dime.

And yes, in the end, that results in a tax increase on everyone. The White House can “reject” that idea all that way, flailing about like children who have just been told no for the first time. It does not change the facts on the ground.

Inflation is already crushing the middle class. Now, we are staring into the abyss of a major corporate tax hike that will raise prices further on people struggling to live pay-check to pay-check. And for what? So the man-child in the Oval Office can cosplay as FDR? We are truly governed by the worst people, and if the American people don’t wake up, it’s only going to get worse.