Putting aside what is in the $1 trillion infrastructure legislation that 19 Republicans (including Mitch McConnell) voted for, there is a much more basic issue: It is too much money and we cannot afford it. We started running budget deficits of over a trillion dollars a year in 2009, and the federal government (under President Donald Trump) completely abandoned all pretense of fiscal responsibility in 2020.
The budget deficit is over $1 trillion every single year. The national debt is much higher than that, and now growing at an alarming rate. I am old enough to remember when a total national debt of $1 trillion was cause for alarm! Families might benefit in the short term for our reckless spending now, but our children and grandchildren will face a crushing debt, a devalued currency and much higher taxes to pay it back. Now is not the time to add another $1 trillion to the annual budget deficit.
This was a priority of Democrats, pushed through and passed by Democrats. But I am much more disappointed in he 19 Republicans who voted for the package. The GOP has fallen very far from the 1994 election and the renewed commitment to limited government that followed – including actual budget surpluses. The 2010 “Tea Party” wave brought fiscal conservatism back. But those two waves were followed by Republicans losing those principles when a Republican was in the White House.
“Do something” is not a solution. Republicans wanted to show they “can govern,” but it is always better to do nothing than to do something harmful or counterproductive. Piling on another trillion dollars to the national debt is both. Republicans are supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility and limited government. If Republican politicians will not stand by those principles in the face of political pressure to “do something,” then those Republicans should be replaced in the next primary election.