No Reversing Trump at Any Cost
In naming Kamala Harris “border czar,” Joe Biden showed his hand: nothing serious was intended.” We are on the cusp of a super-surge, as Title 42’s deportation authority ends, reports Daniel Henninger in the WSJ.
Tens of thousands more migrants, from as far away as China, are prepared to cross from Mexico into the United States.
And look who’s screaming the loudest—the American left. Or at least that part of the left represented by the mayors of Chicago, New York, and Washington.
Holier Than Thou Sanctuary Cities
Mr. Henninger writes that his intention is not to belabor the spectacle of these holier-than-thou sanctuary cities falling short on sanctuary.
Listen more closely to the liberals’ lament about their migrant problem and you’ll hear something they say before getting out of bed every morning: “We need more resources.”
A Liberal Lament
- Mayor Eric Adams: “New York City needs additional federal resources immediately.”
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot: “We’re going to keep demanding our fair share of resources from the federal government.”
- Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser: “The federal government needs to provide more resources.”
Problems of Their Own Making
Confronted with a new problem, these blue-city mayors want Joe Biden to do what Washington has done the past 50 years—send money to fix problems largely of their own making, which almost all their own policies have failed to solve.
Mr. Henninger continues about public housing, public schools, urban transportation, infrastructure and, not least, public-worker pensions and health insurance being local spending categories. With a shrinking tax base, each has outrun its ability to support. Now all require “resources” from Washington.
Most of the trillions the Biden administration has spent the past two years is best understood as a permanent subsidy to cities that spent themselves into a hole.
By grim coincidence, Mr. Biden met Tuesday with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and congressional leadership to discuss extending the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling to avoid what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on the weekend called an “economic calamity.” Again, of their own making.
Slow Down Spending
In the Republican debt-ceiling bill is a request that Joe Biden slow the rate of growth in federal spending.
Not stop, slow. What needs to be understood is that in the Democratic world Mr. Biden has inhabited his entire career—the same world of these mayors—a spending reversal is a totally alien idea.
The mayors of these sanctuary cities will never get funding for two reasons, reports Mr. Henninger:
- Any transfer of funds from Washington for migrants would be seen as a tacit admission that reverse-Trump on the border was a mistake.
- It would require something that progressive Democrats don’t do: Change course. The progressives’ modern governance playbook is: Once in place, our policy prescriptions never change, no matter what.
Progressive Fickleness at the Local Level
“What Happens in Chicago Stays in Chicago”
Chicago’s electorate—which, as in the other cities, is a political coalition of public unions and progressive sophisticates—just replaced Mayor Lightfoot with the even-more-left-wing former teachers union organizer Brandon Johnson. So be it. Be sure to wear a helmet when you hit the wall. It’s less likely, though, that a national electorate will let Mr. Biden or congressional Democrats off the hook in 2024 for their who-cares management of spending and the border.
You’ll recall that Mr. Biden has announced he’s running. Though doubtful last year about that prospect, the Democrats derived enough solace from the midterm election results to rally around a Biden candidacy. That was then. If an economic downturn follows the Biden border botch and public approval for the president flirts with 30%, a primary challenge more serious than RFK Jr. could appear. By then, even New Yorkers and Chicagoans could be on board for reverse Biden.
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