Congress has unveiled a new proposal, the so-called Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act, and is promoting it with all the usual talking points that it’s just normal legislation that keeps the status quo to obscure its true purpose.
In effect, the bill is a blank check that would facilitate President Joe Biden’s sweeping tax-and-spend agenda. The invoice text actually includes a blank line for a dollar amount, like you would see on a check.
Biden and his allies in Congress have been working for months to pass a massive tax and spending bill, the Build Back Better Act. This great government socialist legislation is meant to “transform our economy,” but it would only exacerbate the price hikes, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions Americans face.
Because the Build Back Better Act would add nearly $800 billion to the deficit over the next five years alone (even without accounting for blatant budget gimmicks), liberals in Congress have proposed suspending the debt ceiling as well as waive the application of the wage law. -As-You-Go Act to pave the way for their partisan legislation.
The Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act includes all of these provisions.
The debt limitation precedent that would be set by this bill would destroy one of our essential tools for limiting the size, scope and burden of the federal government.
The bill would allow the Senate Majority Leader to introduce a bill that would increase the debt limit by any amount he determines and then bypass the normal filibuster threshold of 60 votes in the Senate.
It would create an unprecedented process by which the thinnest of majorities in Congress could get a blank check at the expense of every American.
The current two methods of increasing limited debt — going through the budget reconciliation process or meeting the 60-vote Senate threshold — are designed to preserve our fiscal future and limit the reach of the federal government in every American’s pocketbook.
This bill would destroy those safeguards and even literally give Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer a blank line to write whatever increase in debt he wants.
This blank check could be used to usher in Biden’s sweeping tax and spending agenda, to override the federal government’s looming autopilot spending, and to potentially implement even more transformational extensions of government control.
This bill is effectively the same as a suspension of the debt ceiling, but with a potentially easier path to take.
Schumer will likely fill that blank check with a figure that would allow their ambitions to dramatically increase non-defense spending, enact their massive tax and spending agenda, and then leave them with a large cushion for any further expansion of the government they can imagine.
At this point, this increase in the debt ceiling would be indistinguishable from a suspension of the debt ceiling.
Instead of raising the debt limit by a dollar amount based on a thoughtful and respectful legislative approach, it would simply be another institution pulverized in the cobblestones leading to a reckless agenda.
Make no mistake, this provision is just one more attempt to ignore our impending fiscal problems and expand the power of federal central planners.
Voting for a special process allowing for an unlimited debt ceiling increase knowing full well how that process will be used is effectively voting for this debt ceiling increase.
Congress must act to stop this attempt at dramatic government expansion and must implement the reforms needed to return to a stable fiscal path that will allow Americans to prosper now and in the future.
Any further expansion of government, and every day we delay implementing these critical reforms, will make the impending fiscal crisis exponentially more dire.
Any increase in the debt ceiling must be accompanied by the following four conditions. The congress must:
- Adopt mechanisms to control the rate of growth of federal spending.
- Install a revenue cap that ensures balance is not achieved on the backs of taxpayers.
- Prohibit debt limit suspensions or increases designed to give Congress unlimited deficit spending power.
- Call on the Federal Reserve to be transparent about its unprecedented federal debt financing.
Congress has racked up a staggering debt since the pandemic began: $5.5 trillion, or about $43,000 for every household in the country, the result of the last suspension of the debt ceiling.
While some of it was meant to address the public health emergency, much of it (like the $1.9 trillion package Democrats passed earlier this year) was wasteful and opportunistic.
One of the few safeguards against reckless federal spending is the PAYG Act. When Congress passes laws that increase the deficit, PAYGO demands automatic spending cuts on a handful of federal programs.
The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act tab currently exceeds $388 billion. Passing the Build Back Better Act would add $158 billion to the pay-as-you-go act’s mandatory cuts, for a total of $546 billion, but the amount available to cut is a quarter less, or about $120 billion.
Against the backdrop of over $5.5 trillion in total spending for the coming year, that’s a small haircut. Still, the prospect of this haircut is enough to bring an army of lobby groups to besiege Congress.
Health insurance is at the heart of the current debate. Although the program benefits millions of Americans, it has seen unsustainable spending growth. The small cuts Medicare faces due to fiscal rules would not materially affect seniors and would barely dent the program’s relentless growth.
Congress should not delay the spending cuts provided for in the Statutory Allocation Act without replacing them with other spending cuts and reforms. This would only add to the country’s dangerously high debt.
However, the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act stops any application of the Pay-As-You-Go statutory law until January 2023.
By paving the way for the enactment of Biden’s reckless fiscal and spending spree, this legislation negates many of the fiscal safeguards intended to protect all Americans from an ever-expanding government.
These safeguards are meant to respect the hard work of Americans that is undermined every time the government spends money. Instead, the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act would award Biden a blank check with your name at the bottom.
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