By John Thune
You may not realize it, but Congress is in the midst of a consequential debate about the future of our country. We’re debating your future. Your family’s future. The outcome could affect generations of Americans to come.
You’ve probably heard arguments about the magnitude of the Democrats’ latest partisan spending bill and the justifiable concerns about dumping trillions of dollars (on top of the trillions that have already been spent this year) into the economy. Economists, including former Obama administration officials, have warned about the effect it would have on the already painful inflation that’s being felt by everyday families in all corners of our country.
My Republican colleagues and I believe the bill is a reckless tax-and-spending spree, and it is. But, aside from the staggering price tag and the immediate consequences of inflation-driven pain in your pocketbook, there’s more to what Democrats are trying to ram through Congress this holiday season.
The debate now is a fundamental fight about the future of our country, and an almost evenly divided Congress is about to decide how far the long arm of federal government will reach into your everyday life.
Beyond hyperbole, Democrats want to increase the federal government’s reach into nearly every step of a person’s life from cradle to grave. And if they’re successful in passing their reckless tax-and-spending spree, there will be no turning back.
The Democrats’ vision for America involves monthly allowances from the government, even to illegal immigrants. It involves Uncle Sam taking charge of your child care, which will lead to fewer options to choose from and higher costs for families. Faith-based child care providers, which 53% of working families use, would be discriminated against for government funding and put at a serious disadvantage. Taxpayers would be on the hook for paying for union membership dues, and consumers would be discriminated against if buying nonunion assembled electric vehicles.
More and more Americans would rely on an expanded welfare state, receiving handouts without work requirements. Entitlement programs that are already facing insolvency would be expanded even further, jeopardizing the safety net millions of Americans rely on and our country’s long-term financial stability.
If Democrats have their way, workers can expect slower wage growth as job-creators are forced to pay more in taxes. Families can expect higher taxes, higher prices and a more intrusive IRS that would loom large over law-abiding Americans as Democrats scramble to try and pay for this unneeded spending spree. Imagine that – purportedly paying for a partisan tax-and-spending spree by making the IRS bigger and more powerful than it already is.
And then there’s the Green New Deal-style policies. Democrats would like the government to pick and choose the energy sources for your home and your car. If you think gas is expensive now, and it is, just wait until the Democrats’ policies further drive up the cost of electricity, natural gas and gasoline – all while subsidizing Democrats’ preferred green technologies.
I will continue to support renewable energy and increased energy innovation and efficiency, but America is still going to rely on liquid fuels for the foreseeable future. It’s just a fact, for which consumers and the economy shouldn’t be punished by the Democrats’ policies.
And at a time when businesses are struggling to find workers, Democrats want to provide government jobs, tuition and loan assistance, and other benefits for climate activists. Billions of taxpayer dollars would be spent on “tree equity,” “urban agriculture,” “environmental justice programs” for schools and other progressive pet projects that amount to slush funds for cities.
This vision for our country runs counter to everything Republicans – and I believe a majority of Americans – stand for, which is why not one single Republican will support the Democrats’ down payment on socialism.
We believe in letting people keep more of their hard-earned money and limiting the government’s power and control. We want a future where an individual’s outcome is determined by their work ethic, not bureaucrats and “we-know-best” Democrats in Washington, D.C.
At the most basic level, Republicans want to create an environment that encourages economic opportunity for all – as a party, we believe there is dignity and value in work for families, communities and the economy.
Thankfully, this radical vision for America can be stopped in its tracks today. All it would take is one brave Senate Democrat who would be willing to stand up and save the country from this partisan spending bill’s enormous cost on the economy, our future and Americans’ freedom.
Any Democrat could pick from a long menu of reasons to oppose it, and he or she would be doing the country a great service.