Kudlow: I'm sticking with Joe Manchin
Kudlow exposes how much COVID relief money is unspent
We begin tonight with, "Save America, kill the bill."
One of those thumb-sucking news stories planted by progressive lefties to a Wall Street Journal reporter suggesting that the radicals were somehow willing to negotiate with Joe Manchin and Manchin was somehow willing to play.
As I say, it was a silly story with no basis in fact. The Washington Times had a much more accurate story that suggested Manchin is not negotiating with anybody on big government socialism, sometimes called "Build Back Better" or "Build Back Smaller" or even "Build Back Chunkier"...but then the King himself, Joe Manchin, put an end to all of it today, which is why we love him. He's been incredibly consistent.
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He called Build Back Better "dead," saying, "What Build Back Better bill?" in response to reporters, "It's dead."
Is he engaged in any talks on the matter? "No, no, no, no. It's dead."
So folks, that's four "No's" and a "dead." It seems pretty clear to me.
I mean the guy has said forever, "no more social spending" that will jack up inflation even higher. He has said he does not want a middle-class entitlement state with no means testing and all these social spending plans have to have workfare and the left doesn't want any of that. What's more?
Manchin is not going to give in to a massive, Green New Deal spending and subsidizing package that will harm West Virginia fossil fuels. This should not be hard for the radical left to understand, but they do not understand it.
So now, there's talk of an end-run around Manchin. What's an end-run? Some kind of new—get this —omicron, COVID relief package. Really?
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Apparently, the White House is cooking one up, but even the House radicals don't want to see it just yet and then the worst kept secret in Washington, this so-called COVID relief bill, would just be a vehicle to put on every left-wing wish list item that they couldn't get from BBB.
Everybody knows that and it's not going to happen. We've had three major relief packages, totaling nearly $6 trillion. Think that's enough?
Biden was just bragging how strong the economy is, but the White House wants even more federal spending, so we can have even higher inflation? So that after tax, after inflation, disposable income which has dropped 3 straight months will continue to fall, decimating middle class consumers, because of rising prices? Is that what he wants?
So, here's some numbers, courtesy of Committee for a Responsible Budget.
Of $5.7 trillion appropriated, only $4.9 trillion has been spent. I say "only" because it leaves $800 billion unspent. All these numbers are horrible.
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I'm not defending them, but just saying there's still almost $1 trillion unspent. Of that total, $240 billion in health spending allocations has not been spent. $240 billion! That's a lot of money! Where'd that go?
Then, $150 billion allocated for state and local governments is unspent. Huh? That wouldn't be going to blue state governors and mayors, would it?
Then there's a category called "other" that hasn't spent another $150 billion. Who is "other?"
Are we talking teacher's unions that don't want to teach? District attorneys who don't want to enforce laws? Longshore men who won't work 24/7? Test kits undelivered, therapies banned from certain states, Border control money for out-of-control borders?
Where's this money going? $800 billion!
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Now the White House is talking up a new COVID relief package? Just a reminder, the CBO gimmick-free price out of BBB was $5 trillion in spending with $2 trillion in tax hikes and $3 trillion in new federal debt—with a 7% inflation rate and a White House that is now warning us Friday's jobs number may show a drop of employment. Really?
I'm sticking with Joe Manchin. Save America. Kill the bill. That's my riff.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the February 1, 2022, edition of "Kudlow."