The Democrats are looking to expand the welfare state by making aspects of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus package permanent, such as the expanded child tax credit, which went from $2,000 to a maximum of $3,600 per child for one year.
Politico reported Sunday the Democrats are taking advantage of this opportunity during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. “Getting something out of the [tax] code is often harder than getting something into the code,” House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) said. “What we did is unlikely to go away.”
Even before the legislation was signed into law, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) stated, “We have been focused on these issues a very long time, but the moment has met us,” adding, “We are ready to move forward with a number of the areas that have not in the past been able to get that traction, that universal support.”
President Joe Biden believes, “the bill ‘changes the paradigm’ by moving away from the theory of trickle-down economics and instead putting working people first — the first time that has happened, [Biden] said, since Lyndon Johnson was president in the 1960s.”
“It’s time,” he said, “that we build an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out.”
An economic policy and tax expert who works at the Manhattan Institute, Brian Riedl, also agreed. “The prospect of a benefit cliff that will sock the middle class is way too unpopular for politicians to even contemplate.”
“The proper way to think of this bill is as much of a down payment on a wishlist of progressive goals that are going to be extended well beyond the pandemic and the recession,” he said.
Indeed, Democrats “are exploring whether Biden’s second stimulus package — another multitrillion dollar plan that Democrats are hoping to release by late May — could be a vehicle for that move,” Politico reported.
Such entitlement expansion has not excited many Republicans. After the legislation cleared both chambers, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) accused the Democrats of “living in a fantasy land where debt doesn’t matter, spending has no consequences, and inflation is impossible.”
However, Breitbart News reported on March 8 that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) “unveiled a proposal on February 4 to provide a monthly cash benefit to families with children.” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain stated at the time he was “looking forward” to seeing what is in the measure:
— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) February 4, 2021