Bipartisanship is the disease that keeps on destroying America’s chances at being a truly free nation. After all, it is when Republicans and Democrats come together to pass legislation that the taxpayer is forced to give away more of his income to feed the growing black hole that is Washington, D.C.
The latest example of bipartisanship in action is the passage of the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019,” which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin all worked on together.
This bill, which President Donald Trump promoted aggressively, increases the federal spending by $320 billion over the next two fiscal years. Furthermore, the law gives the government limitless powers to increase the debt until July 31, 2021.
In a country that is over $22 trillion in debt, you would think that the custodians of the country’s public goods would go the opposite way. And yet, cutting spending and saving the taxpayer from ruin isn’t on the agenda of neither party.
Thankfully, at least one legislator in D.C. understands the implications of a limitless government budget.
Ignoring a Problem Won’t Make it Go Away
In a heroic move, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tried his luck in changing the title of the dreadful “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019” to a more accurate name. And because his amendment proposed changing the bill’s title to “A Bill to Kick the Can Down the Road, and for Other Purposes,” most of his colleagues felt the overly honest take would not be a good look.
Imagine if bills were named based on what they actually did.
Today, I forced a vote to rename the budget bill that suspends the debt limit, “A Bill to Kick the Can Down the Road, and for Other Purposes.”
47 voted to name this bill honestly.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 25, 2019
In the Senate, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also proposed a different title, telling senators they should call the bipartisan atrocity the “Accelerating America’s Bankruptcy Act.” Needless to say, his idea was shot down.
On Twitter, Trump boasted that the bipartisan budget was “phenomenal” to the military, veterans, and “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!” But unless he’s talking about growing the bureaucracy, coming up with more useless ways to put American troops in danger, and failing to actually address the issues our veterans face thanks to the utter incompetence of the Veterans Affairs office, it’s clear that this bill does nothing but to act as an economy killer.
As Mises Institute’s associate scholar Frank Shostak explained, the economy loses when government undertakes projects using taxpayer dollars or borrowed money. And that’s because there isn’t a real demand for most of government’s enterprises, meaning that lesser projects are being funded at the expense of projects that are of a higher priority to taxpayers.
“[T]he government is not a real wealth generator,” Shostak wrote. “It relies on its sources of funding from the private sector. This in turn means that the more government spends the less real funding will be available for the wealth generating private sector.”
In other words, bipartisanship is, quite literally, making us poorer for no good reason.