Trump’s Living Legacy: The Economy Roars On

By Thomas Gallagher on February 1, 2021

Conveniently waiting until two weeks after the Biden inauguration, we now learn from the officially nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that the economy “will return to its pre-pandemic size by the middle of this year, even if Congress does not approve any more federal aid for the recovery.”

Donald Trump’s economy rolls on even without Trump. Even though nobody in the media establishment will acknowledge the former president’s role and only NewsMax TV dares mention his name, the strength of the economy he built is worth remembering and celebrating even as Biden’s policies try to tear it down.

The CBO credited much the improved outlook to growth spurred by the $900 billion relief package Trump and Congress passed in December. The agency predicts a fall in unemployment to only 5.3% by year’s end.

Note: The Trump plan would have taken effect months earlier were it not for Pelosi’s refusal to pass it while Trump was still in power.

But the CBO projection begs the question: Do we really now need a $1.9 trillion stimulus jolt that the Democrats are pushing? The ten Republicans who offered a compromise $600 billion alternative package don’t think so. But the key differences between their proposal and the Administration’s bill highlight the real reason for Biden’s push for stimulus money: To create a slush fund to help Democratic governors in New York, California, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey get re-elected in 2022 without cutting spending or raising taxes.

The difference between the GOP alternative and Biden’s proposal makes clear what the Democrats are really after. Other than tinkering around the edges of Biden’s proposals by cutting payments for people making more than $40,000 and raising jobless benefits by $100 less than Biden wants, the real differences are the Biden wants to include a minimum wage hike over four years to $15 and massive rises in aid to states that the Republicans don’t include.

Those payouts are the real purpose behind the Biden stimulus plan.

The Democrats are determined to pass their proposal by any means necessary. It probably could pass easily with a simple majority in the Senate except for the minimum wage hike and the state aid payouts. The famous Byrd Rule (named after former Democratic Senator and Klu Klux Klaner Robert Byrd) permits passage of tax and budget legislation without a filibuster closure vote that requires 60 senators. But the minimum wage hike and, perhaps also the state aid package, cannot pass under the Byrd Rule limbo bar. So the Dems have signaled that they are prepared to ignore the Byrd Rule, even if the Senate Parliamentarian rules that they must abide by it.

The lesson: Don’t get between the Democrats and a minimum wage hike and a slush fund for the states.

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