By William Haupt III | The Center Square contributor
"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, and be a socialist nation." – Norman Thomas
Every time Democrats want to execute a newly concocted leftist scheme, they have one motive: to expand federalism. Augmenting the power of the central government is diminishing the independence of individual states by assuming responsibilities assigned to them within the 10th Amendment. Big government was the colonies greatest fear. It would negate everything they had rebelled against. Big government would increase taxing without representation for things they did not want or need.
Although the colonies revolted for many reasons; taxation without representation to finance the wars and the spending of British big government ignited the fuse of the Revolution. The colonies discovered quickly after they began to reap the harvest of their investment in the New World that "the more they produced, the more homage they had to pay to the king" as a punishment for their success. They revolted because big government was too expensive and they wanted no part of it.
Since the Great Depression, government has been expanding and usurping states rights at an unprecedented pace. With a rising interest in socialism during the Great Depression and their promise to bring economic and socioeconomic security to America, FDR quickly recreated the theology for future Democrats: "Big government is the answer for every problem in America."
FDR created so many new government programs and agencies even Democrats bemoaned the costs and rising national debt. He spoon-fed Americans and kept them on life support long after they didn't need it. And Americans are still paying for FDR's "alphabet soup" menu of bequests today.
"Socialism can best be described simply as redistribution of capital." – Norman Thomas
As Democrats in Congress move ahead with their $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion bill to expand entitlements, the devil is in the details. Both bills fund programs that the states are responsible for already. Democrats preach the merits of these federal gifts as an improvement over what the states are doing now since they will be paid for and managed by the federal government.
Milton Friedman once reminded us, “Government is doing so many things it ought not to be doing. And it performs the functions it ought to be performing poorly.” The federal government is already on overload with over 2,300 programs! Policy-makers can't manage what they have. Biden is more focused on expanding the welfare state than he is on fixing the economic crisis the leftists created.
According to Democrats, Biden's infrastructure and entitlement schemes will be funded by huge tax hikes on the rich. His corporate tax increase will destroy business investment, which will result in more unemployment. His capital-gains tax increases will discourage new investment and start-ups.
"It is time big business and the wealthiest pay their fair share for these entitlements." – Joe Biden
Biden's wish list cannot be funded solely by tax increases. Congress is aware of this. According to the CBO, if both bills pass as written federal debt per U.S. household will rise from over $180,000 today to a projected $290,000 by 2031. As debt rises, taxes will be increased on everyone since the rich will either stop producing or eventually run out of money to give to the federal government.
In nine months, we have seen what over borrowing and spending has done to the Trump recovery. Rising debt has already triggered an economic crisis with soaring interest rates and less economic output. We are following the path that Greece took a decade ago when their economy went belly up. Even with all the EU bailout money the Greeks received, their per capita income is down 35%.
Almost all of Biden's infrastructure proposals can be funded from the state level. The only one who is making out is the Democrats. Every dime the states get "back" from the federal government is money that they paid in taxes. The devil is always in the details. By the time the states get their money back, there are so many strings attached they were far better off keeping it in the first place.
"Socialism works because people don't know how to manage their own money." – Hugo Chavez
For the last decade, almost all states have increased their state gas tax to fund their own highway and rapid transit systems to meet their personal needs. Biden's infrastructure bill allocates funding politically. Blue states get a much larger piece of federal pie for state projects than the red states.
Entitlements are subjective to the needs of individual states. States are currently funding programs that Democrats want the federal government to take over and federalize. This is federalism in its finest hour. Taking over and running state entitlement programs and turning them into a national mandate puts the federal government in charge of providing services that belong to the states.
Blue states have a multitude of programs to attract and maintain illegal immigrants while red states don't want them there at all. Currently, states utilize federal subsidies to meet specific needs within their states. But Biden's entitlement package eliminates state management of entitlements and replaces them with a federal "one size fits all potpourri" of federally mismanaged and regulated entitlements.
Nary a day goes by that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden don't caterwaul that big business is greedy and selfish and vows to punish them. Yet Biden's bill includes billions in federal gifts for manufacturing, research, green energy, broadband, utilities, electric cars, wind power, etc. This is socializing industry through the back door. Now they are accountable to the government.
"Cuba is living proof that we socialists repair everything that the capitalists destroy." – Fidel Castro
Ronald Reagan told us, "Anything the government gives you costs too much." Federal handouts come with liberty-restricting strings attached. This doubles and even triples the administrative cost of managing anything that the state did on their own. Additionally, these federal programs include massive regulations, rewards to the labor unions, and costly environmental regulations attached.
In his inaugural speech, Joe Biden promised to unite America for the greater good of the nation. But he did not mention his intention was to make everyone conjoin with the rest of the progressives so they could turn America into a socialist nation. Expanding federal power and refusing to work with the GOP and red states shows that his hidden agenda was to ditch republicanism for socialism.
Federal failures are so common they are expected. Congress never admits wasting our tax dollars. In fact, they use every failure as an excuse to grab more power. Biden's package of freebees to the states is designed to fail. And that is what progressives want. When th efederally financed scheme fails, liberals blame local mismanagement and take it over. Their plan will turn Federalism into socialism.
"The main propaganda trick of supporters of the allegedly progressive policy of government control is to blame capitalism for all that is unsatisfactory in the present-day." – udwig von Mises