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Welcome to the Stupid Party

Unleash Prosperity Hotline
Issue #337
1) Welcome to the Stupid Party

We’ve said it often that what has afflicted Capitol Hill over the past year and a half is closer to mad cow disease than Covid.  The multiple, multi-trillion dollar responses to Covid by Congress could have hardly been more unwise and economically reckless.

Here’s the latest episode of this saga; On Tuesday the federal government’s official auditor (GAO)  tells us that there is $1 trillion that Congress has ALREADY appropriated that hasn’t been spent.  The very next day (Wednesday) the United States Senate votes to move forward with an absurd infrastructure bill with a price tag of $1.2 trillion.

It would have been WAY too obvious and practical to take the $1 trillion unspent and reprogram that money to roads and bridges, rather than hike the $30 trillion debt.  But Washington is, after all, the logic free zone.

Seventeen Republicans listed below held hands with Senate Democrats and voted for this debt bill – even though a few days earlier, Democrat Joe Manchin had said that the only way forward on the $3.5 trillion welfare and tax bill was to first pass the $1.2 trillion bill with an assist from Republicans. So the obvious response from the Republican negotiators should have been: great, we will take neither and save taxpayers $5 trillion!

Now under this surrender treaty, Republicans are officially co-conspirators in the Biden budget heist, and what a political victory for Joe, who is dancing a little jig in the White House right about now.  He can now celebrate a “bipartisan” victory with a back-slapping bill-signing ceremony surrounded by the Romney Republican turncoats in the Rose Garden.

Quick: name one thing – one even tiny concession – that Republicans won in these negotiations?  They didn’t even force Biden to reauthorize the Keystone XL pipeline, which costs taxpayers NOTHING.

It is, of course, near-criminal false advertising to call this oinker “infrastructure.”  We estimate about one quarter of the spending is for roads, bridges and airports.  Much more of the money goes for adding new union-pay requirements on these projects (they made the labor and enviro regulations that inflate the price tag for federal projects much worse, not better), high speed rail to nowhere, nineteenth century transit projects that no one rides, the green new deal for wind and solar, and tens of thousands of taxpayer-funded charging stations so that Tesla owners can power up for free. 

There is still a chance Republicans in the Senate will come to their senses before the final vote, but for now,
the stupid party has fallen into the Biden-Schumer trap. 

GOP Turncoats:

GOP Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), John Hoeven (N.D.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Jim Risch (Idaho), Mitt Romney (Utah), Thom Tillis (N.C.) Todd Young (Ind.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) voted to advance the bill.
2) Vaccine Dramatically Reduces COVID Mortality Risk For Seniors and other Adults

This great FT chart put into perspective two things — how extremely steep the age gradient of risk is with COVID — this is log scale! — and the vaccine effect, which knocks a full log off of risk, or about 30 years of age.  But the FT was missing a key data point that we added — the UNVACCINATED risk for children, which (using UK data to match their source) is about the same as the VACCINATED risk for a 30-year old.  Leave the kids alone!

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