Your wallet is on the line: Washington must succeed this week


Prepare for a week of wide-eyed politics and process. But this DC sausage-making has implications for virtually every American family. What’s happening right now is nothing less than a one-time realignment of your kitchen table economy.

President Joe Biden and Democrats want a cradle-to-grave remake of the American economy. Investments for children, parents, workers and the elderly would be paid for by the rich and big business. The goal: reduce child care and health care costs with universal kindergarten and two free years of community college. There are paid maternity and sick leave, grants for Obamacare, more Pell grants, and investments in climate resilience. And for the elderly, Medicare would cover dental and eye care and hearing aids. That’s a massive $ 3.5 trillion wishlist over 10 years.

Democrats hail it as the most significant expansion of the safety net since LBJ’s Great Society or FDR’s New Deal. Republicans hate him for the same reason.

Republicans oppose tax hikes to pay the price and the scale of social spending. And among Democrats, there are internal wrangling over process and size.

“This political headache is still several weeks away, as Republicans fight Democrats and Democrats fight other Democrats,” said Greg Valliere, chief US strategist for AGF Investments.

Some Democrats in high-tax states insist on reinstating State and Local Tax Deductions (SALT). And some progressives might balk if moderate Democrats manage to water down corporate tax hikes or the size of the package.

Debt ceiling

Republicans are so opposed to the Democrats’ social agenda that they swear not to help raise the debt ceiling. On CNN’s State of the Union, Senator Pat Toomey said Democrats were in the midst of “a very damaging spending spree on a scale we’ve never seen, and they want us to come and let’s authorize the loan to help pay it off. ”He vowed the cap should be raised by Democrats alone.

US Default Would Cut Nearly 6 Million Jobs, Moody's Says
This is the last political game with the US credit card limit. Without raising the debt ceiling, the Treasury Department cannot borrow money to pay the bills for what Congress has already spent. Next month, the Treasury is expected to pick which bills to pay, potentially giving Americans IOUs instead of Social Security checks, paying troops, or child tax credit deposits.

Even an accidental short default could trigger a financial crisis, cost the government billions more in borrowing costs, and potentially drive up interest rates for the rest of us.

“Default is a serious problem,” says Valliere, but Wall Street players are betting so far that the debt ceiling will be resolved.

“It will eventually come up with the Democrats being forced to take most of the property,” Valliere said.

Infrastructure invoice

But there is bipartisan support for a $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill. Again, these are investments that virtually any family would feel, on the roads they drive and the bridges they cross. Think better travel times, lower car maintenance costs, and even potentially lower food costs, as farmers currently have to bypass bridges and creaky roads.

The administration believes that there are essential investments in the electricity grid, drinking water, airports, seaports, broadband internet, public transport and charging stations for electric vehicles. It’s a simple intelligence test for Washington, with broad popular support, that ended in DC’s Hell Week.


About Christopher Easley

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