If limits exist that constrain politicians and the legislation they can enact in the name of crisis, rescue or stimulus, it is unclear what they are.
Coming atop 2020’s roughly $4 trillion in rescue, a weekend Senate party-line vote has routed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA, H.R. 1319) back to the House, from where it will then proceed to Joe Biden for signature.
Some critics argue that this add-on — returning to Americans $1,400 of their own money, rewarding states that arguably crippled their own economies and schools, and spreading pork — has little to do with crisis recovery.
Meanwhile mainstream coverage is largely favorable while the fact-check organizations defend much of the ARPA in narrative-affirming pieces that chastise critics rather than question the bill’s premises or the state of crisis preparedness that leads to these gigantic spending bills in the first place.
Little under the purview of policymakers had been more certain than the arrival of a pandemic. But nothing in the new American Rescue Plan nor the earlier Families First Coronavirus Response Act, CARES Act or (proposed) HEROES Act reflect lessons learned, establish resilience, and assure a non-repeat of crisis-response excesses.
Quite the contrary; the left excels at leveraging crises to expand government, and tell us so; there are numerous examples of progressives’ regarding the crisis as an “opportunity for a reset” and rallying point for a separate agenda complete with a “new social contract.”
Central to the modern progressive left’s vision is adult dependence on national and international politicians, with a universal basic income (a.k.a. guaranteed minimum income) for the able bodied as the North Star.
Expanded medical care, free college, forgiven loans and other policies, prominent back in Obama State of the Union addresses, are stepping stones toward the UBI when viewed in context with the past year’s innovations like additive federal unemployment, repetitive stimulus payments — and the real kickers — rent moratoria, paid family leave and pressure for doubled minimum wages whose consequences for small business would require still further federal support for the individuals whose jobs the policies themselves displace.
One cannot expect future-minded crisis prevention and resilience in such rescue plans, which reveal plainly that tomorrow’s crises will be similarly seized upon for new trillion-dollar infusions on behalf of the blanket social regulatory state.
Read the full article at Forbes.