In a recent false claim, Joe Biden said there is an “overwhelming consensus” of economists supporting the bizarre idea that Washington “can’t spend too much.”
“There is not an “overwhelming consensus” among economists that no amount of federal spending is excessive,” counterclaims James Freeman in the WSJ.
This column (“Best of the Web”) is often skeptical of conventional expert opinion. But even for those who aren’t, the Biden economic plan is notable for the way it has drawn criticism not just from economists in the center and on the right but from Mr. Biden’s own former colleagues on the left. Many of the critiques specifically warn that he is indeed spending too much taxpayer money on a recovering economy, which does not need another massive intervention.
There’s no crisis in the economy other than the pain still being inflicted by Biden allies in teachers unions and state government. A naturally rebounding economy, further juiced by the last massive federal relief bill enacted in December, continues to improve. On Wednesday the Federal Reserve reported the fourth consecutive month of rising U.S. industrial production. And it’s clear from a separate bit of Wednesday news that producers are not having trouble finding consumers. Retail sales surged in January.
Biden’s Wacky Idea
If the president wants to insist that America needs unlimited federal spending, he should at least stop pretending it’s a consensus view and admit that it’s his own wacky idea.
In his 17 February “Best of the Web” column, Mr. Freeman notes that even the Biden economic team perhaps understands that unlimited federal spending naturally leads to unlimited federal taxation.
The emerging Biden plan is for a brief delay before the imposition of new tax pain, and then a slow ratcheting upward.
Tax Increases on the Horizon
Thomas Franck (CNBC) reports:
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that any tax increases sought by the Biden administration to help pay for big-ticket spending would be introduced gradually.
Yellen, who spoke to CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” added that the proposed tax increases would likely come later in 2021 as part of a larger legislative package.
It would “involve spending and investments over a number of years” in agenda items such as education and infrastructure, the Treasury chief said. “And probably tax increases to pay for at least part of it that would probably phase in slowly over time.”
“Enjoy the Trump/Biden boom while you can,” advises Mr. Freeman.
Read more about the $1.9 trillion monstrosity in “Please Don’t Call It COVID Relief.”