Friday, December 17, 2021

Politics as a Spectator Sport: In praise of Manchin and Newsom

The United States Senate will cost me perhaps $11 for the year, but against that expense set the subscription price of the Congressional Record, about $15, which, as a journalist, I receive for nothing. For $4 less than nothing I am thus entertained as Solomon never was by his hooch dancers. (H.L.Mencken)

In which spirit, I note two politicians who, in the past week or so, have earned their salary. One is Gavin Newsom, my governor. Everyone else on his side has been responding to the ingenious piece of legal legerdemain by which the Texas legislature is trying to get around Roe, converting its restriction on abortion into a civil action by private parties, with outrage. Newsom has responded by pointing out that if Texas can use that device to get around Roe, California can use it to get around the Second Amendment.

The other is Senator Manchin, in his latest move against President Biden's $3.5 2.5 1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill. It isn't that Manchin is against all the good things that bill is supposed to do. He just wants to take the most popular part of the bill — I presume most popular with his West Virginia constituents — and make it even better. 

The child tax credit in Biden's proposal is for only a year, part of the attempt to make bill look less expensive by passing things for a year with the intent of continuing them forever. Manchin, in the spirit of generosity and honest labeling, wants it for ten years. 

Which will use up $1.5 trillion dollars of the $1.75 trillion that he has already gotten Biden to agree to.


rsm said...

Are Republicans laughing, because they know deficits don't matter but happily lie about it to troll Dems, who still actually believe it despite evidence that anyone can check for themselves (Reagan's deficits averaged four times Carter's as inflation fell)?

susupply said...

It's hard to see how one can compare 'Roe' which has absolutely no constitutional basis, with the 2nd Amendment, which clearly is part of the Constitution.