As Bonchie pointed out yesterday, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin is continuing to play the type of hardball politics with his own party on massively bloated spending bills that Republicans are happily injecting into their veins on a daily basis.
In many ways, Manchin is sounding like a Republican these days, which has prompted some to suggest he finally give in and come on over to the dark side with the rest of the evil Republicans. He won’t, though, because he knows right now he’s the most powerful man on Capitol Hill in either party.
In any event, during what was purported to be a “press conference” Thursday but which in reality looked like swarms of reporters ambushing Manchin, the native West Virginian explained that he wasn’t budging on his topline number of $1.5 trillion because he had done the math. He likened his decision-making process to how families do their budgets at home. They take into account what they have coming in, look at what they need versus what they want, and then buy what they need based on what they have.
The video below is some nine minutes long, but Manchin made these comments in the first minute of the clip. Watch:
Newsy Manchin: Told a group of us $1.5 trillion is his number.
Doesn’t explicitly say he won’t go higher. But made clear to Biden that was his ceiling. Biden told him he wants more.
Says this is going to take time
Says he’s no liberal. pic.twitter.com/sEeOkwE68F
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 30, 2021
A few hours later, House Democrat John Yarmuth (Ky.) did an interview on CNN, where he tried a little budgetsplaining on Manchin in response to his presser. In the process, however, he exposed himself.
“I read Joe Manchin’s statement, I’ve listened to him. He has no understanding of how the federal government monetary system works when he compared it yesterday to his household income. That has no relevance to what we can do,” Yarmuth explained. “It’s not a question of what we can afford. The federal government can afford anything that it feels it needs to do, and right now that’s what we ought to be focused on.”
Yarmuth’s comments were so shocking that even the CNN host Erin Burnett’s mouth dropped open. Watch:
Democrat @RepJohnYarmuth: “The federal government can afford anything that it feels it needs to do.”
But who does he think foots the bill for all those things??
— X Strategies LLC (@XStrategiesLLC) October 1, 2021
He went on to tell Burnett that in the scheme of things, $3.5 trillion is “pretty inconsequential”:
“It’s $3.4 trillion over 10 years. We’re going to spend twice as much during that time on defense,” he said. “If you take the entire add-up, all of the things we’re proposing to do, it would be essentially about 5 percent more than we will spend otherwise. We’re going to spend $61 trillion over the next 10 years. So to add another $3.4 trillion or $5 trillion to it is very—I think it’s pretty inconsequential when you consider all the benefits to the American people.”
When you watch and read all this keep in mind that Yarmuth is the Chairman of the House Budget Committee and he’s going on record as saying the government can spend however much it wants on whatever it wants.
This is something Republicans have long known about how Democrats and, sadly, how some Republicans have operated in the past, too, but this guy was essentially saying the quiet part out loud.
Republicans – and not just the ones in his Kentucky House district – need to play this one on loop in national campaign ads next year so the millions who are still struggling to make ends meet and are having to make sacrifices big-government Democrats like Yarmuth don’t have to can see just how little they care about not only spending the money taxpayers worked hard to earn but also spending money they don’t have, which means future generations will be on the hook.
The especially funny thing about all this is that Manchin is not a budget hawk by a long shot. Maybe he’s doing some of this on principle, but I suspect most of this he’s doing simply because he knows he can.
And as long as he does, we get to sit back and enjoy it.