Politicians renege on promises frequently, but what, asks the WSJ in an editorial, should voters make of a deal in which one side is pulling a bait and switch?
That was the astonishing news Thursday as President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed a bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal even as they said the price of their support is getting the rest of their agenda too.
Mr. Biden stood with five Democratic and five Republican Senators at the White House and endorsed their trillion-dollar infrastructure outline. Back-slapping and self-plaudits all around.
But two hours later the President said he won’t sign the infrastructure bill unless the Senate also passes the other $3 trillion or more he has proposed in tax increases and multiple new entitlement programs.
From Joe Biden:
We had a really good meeting. And to answer your direct question, we have a deal. And I think it’s really important — we’ve all agreed — that none of us got what we — all that we wanted. I clearly didn’t get all I wanted. They gave more than, I think, maybe they were inclined to give in the first place.
But this reminds me of the days we used to get an awful lot done up at the United States Congress. We actually worked with one — we had bipartisan deals. Bipartisan deals means compromise.
One of the things that I’ve — I’ve made clear: I’ve signed on — and I’m going to let them give you the detail because — and you can ask them — and I’m — I will — I will talk to you all later, in the next hour or two. What- — I promise you I’m not going away.
James Freeman in “Best of the Web” promises not to try to interpret Biden’s last paragraph.
Clearly the overall thrust of his remarks was that he and the senators had reached an agreement in which nobody got everything they wanted. But within hours he was back demanding everything he wanted.
More bad news is that even if the president sticks to the deal he struck with the senators, it won’t be kind to taxpayers. Even without most of the phony Biden redistribution programs labeled as “infrastructure,” the plan still isn’t going to build that much infrastructure.
At the Cato Institute, Chris Edwards explains why U.S. interstate highway system construction costs, not readily explained by material or labor costs, have risen dramatically since the mid-20th century.
Federal spending on infrastructure comes tied to labor and environmental rules that raise costs and slow projects. Federal DavisBacon labor rules generally require that workers on federally funded projects be paid union‐level wages, which raises wage costs an average of about 20 percent. Federal environmental rules delay highway projects.
The authors of a report prepared for the Obama administration found that the average review time for highway projects increased from 2.2 years in the 1970s to 6.6 years by the 2010s.
Biden’s plans would likely raise costs and slow projects further.
Read more about the irrefutable harm of government overreach into American life here.
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