tl;dr Minority Rant
I don’t know about you, but when I saw Minority Leader McCarthy spew his unhinged rant before the House vote on the Build Back Better bill, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Shakespear quote from Macbeth:
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
I tuned in, every once in a while, to see what his complaint was. Was it universal pre-K, so all kids can get that early start? Was it making drug prices more affordable? Capping insulin? Addressing climate change? Closing the loopholes on tax cheats? Making sure the wealthy pay their fair share?
None of what he said seemed to address any specific grievance about the bill. The bigger point, amidst the Republican opposition to this bill, is their phenomenal level of hypocrisy. If they do have a complaint, it will be that the bill was scored by the CBO to add $1.6B to the deficit over 10 years. That's not a typo. Not $1.6 trillion, $1.6 billion.
In contrast, the 2017 GOP tax cut, which went mostly to the wealthiest in the country, is projected to add $1-$2T over 10 years. Let’s also note that the Senate is consistently quick to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which they are advancing now. That is the time-honored tradition of our Congress approving a massive military budget that dwarfs the military spending of the rest of the world. At $768B, it will contain no offsets and will virtually add to the deficit in whole.
My State Senator, Samra Brouk, once said that a budget is a reflection of our priorities. I don’t know what Minority Leader McCarthy’s priorities are, or that of his caucus, even after his 8-hour rant. They don’t seem to be about holding their own party members accountable to the law. They don’t seem to be about condemning threats of violence against members of their body, and they really seem to be about preventing any direct investment in the people.
Anyone who says we need to invest in companies and the wealthy, as the only way to make sure the economy will help everyday people, is working on behalf of the companies and wealthy. Trickle-down economics is a lie. A true free-market economy is one where the economy works for everyone, and people have true power. That requires that we invest in leveling the playing field, so everyone can have opportunities to succeed. That includes kids, our elderly, and our planet.
If we are to read between the lines of Republican opposition, led by McCarthy last night, it might be that they are terrified of closing the doors on wealthy tax cheats. That does seem to be their bread and butter. The rest may very well be a distraction. Whatever Kevin said, it wasn’t anything as good as what the Build Back Better will do for America.