Quid Pro Quo Under Biden?
Someone was missing at President Joe Biden’s first cabinet meeting held on Thursday April 1st. Remember his campaign promise that he would unite America again and appoint the most diverse cabinet and administration in history, representing the gorgeous American mosaic? Now into the fourth month of his administration, he has yet to appoint any Republicans. There are several thousand cabinet, sub cabinet, agency administrators and others who will be appointed by the White House to serve at the pleasure of the President. Republicans continue to represent a significant portion of America.
Why has he failed to appoint any to serve in his Cabinet and administration? Mr. Biden has failed in following up on this public commitment on this issue. Even former Democratic President Barack Obama appointed Ray LaHood–Republican Congressmember from Illinois as his Secretary of Transportation. Actions speak louder than words. His call for bringing America together appears to just be campaign rhetoric. Biden practices to the victor belongs the spoils. Quid pro quo is alive and well in the White House under his watch. It is business as usual at the expense of taxpayers..
Who Will Pay for the Infrastructure Plan?
It is both notable and admirable that the Biden Administration supports fully paying for their infrastructure package. That is an important marker of fiscal responsibility – new initiatives, including temporary ones, should be fully offset. Considering the strong pace of vaccination, expectations of a robust economic recovery, and massive amounts of money still in the recovery pipeline, at this time there is no further justification for additional borrowing.
Congress should heed the President’s call to fully offset all new spending and tax cuts. If they do not like the specific proposals included in President Biden’s plan, they should offer alternative tax increases and/or spending cuts, or reduce the size of the package to what they are willing to pay for.
In light of a record high, growing, and unsustainable debt, this infrastructure spending package should be paid for over a shorter time period than the 15 years they propose. It is critical that new spending in the plan be credibly temporary, especially considering the unusually long window for offsets, and that dollars be spent effectively on true and worthwhile one-time investments.
Finally, the price tag on this plan is high. While the country is clearly in need of infrastructure investment, it is not at all clear that $2 trillion of spending is needed or justified. Congress should do the important work to build a package this is a reasonable cost, well targeted, economically justified, and free of political favoritism.
A well-designed and fully paid-for infrastructure package could help support strong economic growth. Policymakers must not turn this package into a political wish list, paid for by our grandchildren.
It is encouraging to see a policy proposal put forward along with a way to pay for it. If something is worth doing, it is worth paying for.
President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
The Israeli Election Debacle
After reading your coverage of the recently held elections in Israel, I must admit I am sitting here scratching my head in total dismay. This is now the fourth time in the last two years that Israeli have gone to the polls to choose their next ruling party and next prime minister, yet despite the rigorous campaigning it appears that there is no solid winner and that a coalition government may not have a chance of being formed.
To even entertain the absurd notion of a possible 5th election in the summer is really way too difficult for me to contemplate. I am not an Israeli but I do feel for them. Their political future is beyond murky and with Biden in the White House, we can only pray that he does not go down the same road as former President Obama did in his feckless attempts to achieve Middle East peace.
In my humble and perhaps entirely uneducated opinion, I think Israel needs Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm more than ever. A crafty politician, he has the ability to circumvent any kind of disastrous territorial compromise that would emanate from the US State Department and more to the point, I truly believe he would have the backing of those he represents in Israel.
I am cognizant of the fact that Netanyahu is the only prime minister in Israel’s history that has retained his position while on trial for corruption, but I will tell you this: If one thinks that Donald Trump was specifically targeted by his political opponents for impeachment and constant harassment, that pales in comparison to what Netanyahu is going through. The way I see it is that these so-called corruption charges are so flimsy that no real court that is dedicated to true justice could ever convict him.