Submitted by QTR’s Fringe Finance
This country needs more people like Joe Manchin.
Of course, this is going to be written off as a partisan statement by people on the left, but let me explain why it isn’t.
Back in October I wrote an article about the two fallacies that I thought could catalyze the downfall of the United States. As far as I see it, Joe Manchin is trying to step in front of both of these issues and ensure that they do not take place.
By now almost everybody knows that Manchin announced on Sunday that he would not be able to vote for President Joe Biden‘s “Build Back Better” bill. Manchin made the announcement live on Fox News, citing inflation among the many reasons for his dissent:
His continued reasoning for not wanting to vote for the $1.9 trillion spending bill, which included expanding the current Child Tax Credit and Green New Deal funding, was that he simply couldn’t take it back to his constituents and explain what was in it or why it was worth the money.
And those are about two of the best reasons I can think of to vote “no” on a bill.
Manchin said in a statement Sunday: “My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country more vulnerable to the threats we face. I cannot take that risk with a staggering debt of more than $29 trillion and inflation taxes that are real and harmful to every hard-working American at the gasoline pumps, grocery stores and utility bills with no end in sight.”
Remember, I have been stating in podcasts and in articles that inflation was going to have to be addressed, because it has now become a political issue for both sides of the aisle. Manchin’s reasoning circles the square of my argument.
Back in early December, I wrote that inflation had become such a prominent political issue that hits home for every American, that it would start to stir the bi-partisan pot and force the hands of some politicians (and Fed governors) to do things they wouldn’t normally do:
The American public has been so aware of inflation, it has even become a part of the mainstream media narrative on both the left and the right.
And as far as it concerns being a elected official in a representative republic, I can’t think of better reasoning than Manchin’s.
But Manchin’s “no” vote was really a stand against so much more.
First, as they say in Philly, it “checked” the Democrats. When you “check” somebody in the city, it means you set them back in line at a time when they need it the most.
The Democrats appear to have been under the impression that they can act unilaterally, and having successfully just raised the debt ceiling and passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, they could use a timely reminder that they can’t just run the show without having to answer to anybody.
Manchin’s “no” vote is also going to reset expectations heading into midterm elections. If it wasn’t clear to Democrats with the botched pull out of Afghanistan, our President tripping up the steps of Air Force One, horrifyingly bad approval ratings or US cities going to complete shit, it doesn’t appear that President Biden’s agenda has been the dialed-in and raging success that it was pitched to be.
Even those who voted for Biden because they loathe Donald Trump are being forced to confront reality. Joe Manchin just confronted it first, so you can thank him for that.
Second, and maybe most importantly, Manchin’s “vote” addresses our attitude towards spending at a time when the country has never been in a more precarious financial position. Manchin had the backbone to do what many cowardly government and Fed officials haven’t been able to do: deliver the simple message to the populace that the United States does not have the resources to continue spending.
Manchin even helped deliver the message that the government isn’t a great capital allocator by citing all of the pork that would have been included in the bill.
“The [Congressional Budget Office] analysis confirmed Sen. Manchin’s worst fears about Build Back Better. He has always stated that he will not support a bill full of gimmicks, a bill that added to the debt or a bill that made inflation worse,” Sen. Lindsey Graham’s office said this weekend to the Wall Street Journal.
Third, Manchin showed that sometimes, common sense can still win the day.
Yes, there is a “D” next to Manchin’s name, but at a point in our country where we have arguably never been more divided, reversion to the mean in terms of common sense becomes more and more necessary with every passing day.
As I said earlier, many will think my support of Manchin as partisan. It isn’t. In fact, I don’t even like identifying as a Republican, and usually identify as a libertarian or an independent. I just think that Manchin’s decision was based on common sense and I’m sure a lot of Democrats that are close to the center feel the same way.
The fact that Manchin “checked” Democrats and essentially took their punch bowl away is obvious by how they lashed out at him upon his “no” vote. Some of the most far left politicians in the country, including Senator Bernie Sanders, Representative Ilhan Omar and Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez all issued scathing remarks about Manchin’s decision, despite the fact that Manchin’s criticisms were well reasoned.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki added this weekend: “If his comments on Fox and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the president and the senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.”
His “commitments to the president and the senator’s colleagues”?
What about his constituents? What about to the country as a whole, Jen?
From a financial perspective one hopes that Manchin’s line in the sand becomes the crux for a new way of thinking about spending. Ideally, you hope that Democrats learn from this that higher taxes and more spending, especially when capital is allocated by the government, isn’t always a great idea. I’m not optimistic about the left “getting it”, however, because Nancy Pelosi has already said that she wants to re-introduce some type of bill next year to try to get around Manchin’s “no” vote.
Regardless, Senator Joe Manchin should be seen as a patriot for stopping this bill in its tracks and also sending a stern message to Democrats at a time when they need it most.
If only our Treasury Secretary and Fed Chair had such backbones, we wouldn’t likely be fighting real world inflation that’s well over 10% to begin with.