Two steps forward and 20 steps back. Immediately after securing a historical tax cut, Congress is trying to make Johnny Depp look frugal with an appalling, budget-busting spending bill.
Both the House and Senate are rushing to vote on this monstrosity before anyone has a chance to even read it, let alone organize against it. But make no mistake, we’ll be paying the bill on this sucker for a long, long time.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, who negotiated the details behind closed doors before springing it on us the same day as the vote, appear to have adopted a strategy of buying off opposition with lavish, unprecedented spending levels.
For example, the bill would spend 70% more on non-defense programs in 2018 than Barack Obama ever had the gumption to even ask for over *two year* budget requests, according to the Heritage Foundation.
What kind of negotiation ends up at more than twice the other party’s opening bid?
Then there are the policy landmines, some of which are starting to come out, but many others of which we’ll only learn about in the coming months.
The bill actually prevents spending reforms to the popular but expensive SCHIP program that the GOP Congress previously secured.
As a bailout to the insurance industry that fought so hard to bring us Obamacare, It undermines the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, which, because of its market-based design, is one of the only government programs in the history of man to come in significantly under budget — while also remaining highly popular with seniors.
The bill has $7.8 billion for Community Health Centers created by Obamacare an increase from how much Democrats spent on these single-payer pilot studies.
Of course, no episode of Congress decadently indulging in its worst instincts would be complete without the Enron-style accounting tricks to hide the true price tag of its spending binge. But you know what? At least Enron went bankrupt afterwards. Congress just keeps adding to its tab, time and time again.
Some Republicans are noting this bill increases defense spending, which is true. I’d expect it to, since Republicans are in charge of the House, Senate and presidency. What’s shocking is the GOP throwing away every incremental, painstaking policy victory it won on spending in the last ten years, and then sprinting further in the opposite direction.
Go home Congress, you’re drunk – this bill is what you ran for office to stop.