Congress, coronavirus trillions need to be reined in, please stop spending other people's money

Negotiating with Nancy Pelosi is a ‘mistake’: Grover Norquist

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist argues Nancy Pelosi will not allow the House to pass any bill that would help President Trump get reelected or improve the economy.

When the coronavirus hit America, Congress reacted quickly. It spent money. Lots of money.

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The federal budget, which already includes hundreds of billions for health care, was spending a total of $4.7 trillion this year. Congress added more than $2 trillion on top of that after the pandemic hit.

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Now Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to spend another $3 trillion on top of that.

Every lobbyist in Washington, every corrupt and bankrupt mayor is demanding more cash to subsidize failure. Governors who have spent money they cannot pry from their citizens want Washington to give them other people’s money. Now. Immediately. Again.

The Republican Senate and President Trump have suggested we wait until July to decide how many trillions more to spend. That is a good first step. When the Democrat house passed the $3 trillion cash tsunami they believed that the US economy would lose an additional 7.5 million jobs in May.

We now know America gained 2.5 million jobs in May. As governors begin to open up the economy and decriminalize restaurants and dentist visits the Dow Jones reacted by jumping from the low of 18,591 to 26,289.

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This despite the damage Congress did when they added $2,400 a month to the unemployment payments each of the 50 states already paid out. That added federal spending means that 63 percent of Americans can make more money on unemployment than going back to their own jobs. CBO has said that 5 in 6 Americans on unemployment are making more than they did in their job. Washington created a large disincentive for many Americans to get a paycheck.

Every lobbyist in Washington, every corrupt and bankrupt mayor is demanding more cash to subsidize failure. Governors who have spent money they cannot pry from their citizens want Washington to give them other people’s money. Now. Immediately. Again.

That $2,400/month continues through the end of July. After it expires, we will see employment increase more rapidly.

What do we want?

We want the strong economy we created over the last three years that crested—before the virus—with unemployment at 50-year lows for all Americans. Wages rising, with those earning less seeing the largest increases in take-home pay.

The opposite of the previous eight years. The stock market hit a historic high of 29,398 in February. More than 158 million Americans were at work.

The Dow Jones increased from 18,332 on the day Donald Trump was elected to more than 29,000 in February — increasing the value of your life savings by 60 percent.

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How did we get those jobs created, higher incomes, more lifetime savings? By increasing federal spending? Certainly not. Trump and the Republican Congress went the other direction.

Taxes were reduced, regulations repealed and reformed to cost consumers and workers less. When Biden was vice president, the United States had the highest corporate income tax in the developed world, 35 percent.

Communist China only takes 25 percent in corporate income taxes. Our tax policy pre-Trump drove investment, jobs, and growth overseas. The Republican tax cut brought the business tax to 21 percent. All business investment was expensed—bringing trillions of dollars of investment capital to the USA.

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America became energy dominant with fracking and new exploration for oil and natural gas. America is on track to produce more oil than Russia and Saudi Arabia combined by 2025.

We want to return to the strong economy we lived in in 2017, 2018, and 2019. To get there we already know the path. Lower taxes, less regulation. Avoiding overseas wars.

The path offered by Nancy Pelosi of “spend more money” and “borrow more money” has been tried in other nations in other decades and always ended poorly. If Nancy Pelosi was right Argentina and Venezuela would be rich and successful and growing.

Some are suggesting we should pass legislation to build “infrastructure,” a $1 trillion “stimulus” package. But Obama did that and America got the weakest, slowest recovery since World War II. That did not work out well for American workers.

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What if they promised to actually build roads this time? Well, the Democrats control the House. No legislation can be enacted without Nancy Pelosi’s approval. And if she wanted roads they would have had roads back in 2009 when the Democrats owned the White House, Senate and House. The Green New Deal is all about everything except roads. That is why Dems call it “infrastructure.” Instead of a “highway bill” as in the past.

What might help? Well, I signed a letter along with noted economists like Arthur Laffer and free-market leaders such as Stephen Moore and Steve Forbes suggesting that the federal government repeal the Social Security payroll tax for the rest of this year. That would increase the take-home pay of every worker by 7.5 percent. And businesses would not have to pay their 7.5 percent, reducing the cost of hiring new workers.

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What we don’t need is any legislation that Nancy Pelosi would permit through the House. Any truly pro-growth idea could not pass the House without Nancy Pelosi loading it up with budget-busting, growth-killing taxes, spending and regulations. Any truly pro-growth idea would be held hostage to the demands of the hard left’s job-killing agenda.

We know how we got to a strong economy: lower tax rates, more savings, fewer one size fits all regulations from Washington. The path back to prosperity is the same path we followed to get there.

As we can see the sun rising before us as jobs return, let us not be fooled into walking backwards down the path of tax and spend. That leads to a weaker economy and we left that sad place only a few years ago.

Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform.

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