Like many, if not most, people I have been very concerned lately about the condition and future of our nation. We face a badly divided and highly partisan Congress; a stubborn global pandemic; violent crimes and general lawlessness throughout many of our cities; spiraling inflation; widespread homelessness; rampant drug abuse; unimaginable wealth held by a handful of super-rich while the fortunes of the middle and lower classes are flagging; U.S. jobs deported throughout the world while millions of unvetted illegal aliens flood through porous U.S. borders; Medicare and Social Security seriously under funded; and the Federal deficit nearing $30 trillion, up from $5.6 trillion in just the past two decades.
The last four Presidents from both parties — Presidents Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden have run up nearly six times the deficits as the previous 42 Presidents combined. Yet, the majority in the current House and Senate, with strong encouragement from the White House is seriously considering somewhere around $5-6 trillion of additional deficit spending to stimulate the economy and rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.
Suddenly, a lone U.S. Senator from West Virginia has displayed both courage and integrity reminiscent of political leaders from our nation’s past. In an op-ed on September 1 in the Wall Street Journal, Senator Joe Manchin (D.WV), steps forward and proclaims that he will cast his vote against the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, which is part of an overall $5-6 trillion spending package pending before Congress.
In his op-ed (see link below), Senator Manchin declares “[S]ome in Congress have a strange belief there is an infinite supply of money to deal with any current or future crisis, and that spending trillions upon trillions will have no negative consequence for the future. I disagree. . . . Now Democratic congressional leaders propose to pass the largest single spending bill in history with no regard to rising inflation, crippling debt or the inevitability of future crises. Ignoring the fiscal consequences of our policy choices will create a disastrous future for the next generation of Americans.”
Senator Manchin’s bravery and intellectual honesty means that massive spending bills pending in this Congress, which the Democrats control with the Vice President’s vote as a tie-breaker, will likely come to a screeching halt, and hopefully the Congress will end a twenty-year dreadful run of lavish and irresponsible spending under four Presidents, two from each party. I am a Republican appointed to the FDIC board of directors by President Carter and named Chairman by President Reagan to help control and resolve a massive breakdown in banks and S&Ls from 1978 through 1992. I can only hope that Senator Manchin stands his ground for fiscal sanity this year and decides to run for President in 2024.