Protecting America and Protecting the People
The straight news or punditry often starts with the premise of scaring the American people away with a price tag. From the Biden Build Back Better plan reporting, one would think that its’ only attribute—or detriment, depending on your point of view, is the 3.5 trillion dollar price tag. Even the price tag has been the subject of confusion for the average consumer of news. I had a phone conversation with a learned colleague this past weekend, and her objection to the program was that it would cost 3.5 trillion dollars per year. After pointing out the 3.5 trillion dollar price tag is spread over ten years [350 billion per year], there was a pause and a quizzical reply of “Are you sure?” I went on to say not only that, but it is half the yearly [768 billion currently] defense spending bill.
That led me to ask if she knew what exactly was in the plan. She answered, “ loans for small businesses and money to parents of kids under eighteen.” When I pointed out those were provisions under the American Recovery Act, I heard an audible hmm and envisioned her scratching her head. My friend is far from uninformed or illiterate—just busy. The weakness in the Build Back Better plan has been messaging. When the individual benefits of President Biden’s plan are polled, it has majority support: Closing the Medicare gap allowing for dental and vision care: Capping out of pocket cost at 7% for childcare: twelve weeks of paid family/medical leave, to name a few. Not enough attention has been paid to the actual price being 350 billion a year, not 3.5 trillion.
Expectedly, the Republican party is fighting the spending package hammer and tong because its success would be another nail in the failed or nonexistent GOP ‘alternative’ plan. In conjunction with its many provisions for climate change reform, the package could very well be the New, New Deal. Once implemented and much like the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), the benefits will far outweigh the negatives. Again conservatives would be stuck with clawing back a Democratic program that worked for political reasons and not common sense.
With the GOP’s hysteria calming over the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the GOP has slowly moved away from its virulent criticism of Mr. Biden. The GOP has become the party of nothing. From 2016 to 2020, the GOP passed one significant piece of legislation, the unpaid two-trillion dollar tax cut for the rich. The GOP has advocated, or more to the point, learned that trickle-down economics is an effective scam for its donor class. They recognize the political power in that donor class and the lack of power/money held by single working mothers and service workers.
The press has pushed the false narrative of Democrats in disarray for so long, to avoid the appearance of being called liberal, it has skewed objective reporting. Much is written about the objections of two Democratic Senators—Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. The press excludes the fifty Senate Republicans who are also voting against the interest of their constituents. Two Democratic Senators against 48 is not disarraying; it is the defiance of reality. Paul Ryan, the former Republican speaker of the House, once described 60% of American people as “takers.” This morning, a young man and his wife knocked on my door, passing out flyers and promoting their new car detailing business. Having healthcare, tax cuts, childcare, and family leave would sure help these so-called takers.
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