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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Democrats in Washington have a big problem when it comes to explaining their policies. Over the years, they have come to rely on a false equivalence between massive spending, higher taxes, and progress. The latest example of this came just a few weeks ago as President Biden rolled out his massive $2.5 trillion so-called “infrastructure” plan funded by, you guessed it, $2 trillion in tax increases. That’s Democrat politics in a nutshell. Their answer to every problem is higher taxes, bigger government bureaucracies, and endless deficit spending. It doesn’t work and it’s going to kill the American dream.

We’ve seen this before. Biden‘s “COVID” spending package, branded as the American Recovery Plan Act, wasn’t actually about COVID-19. The bill dedicated less than 10% of its massive $1.9 trillion price tag to fighting COVID-19 and just 1% to vaccines. Democrats also snuck a tax increase on gig workers in that package, breaking their promise to not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000.


The same is true for Biden‘s new “infrastructure” plan. Of the more than $2 trillion he’s asking for, just $157 billion, less than 8%, would go toward traditional infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, highways, air and seaports, and waterways. The other 92% simply funds liberal wish list priorities sloppily banded together as “infrastructure” initiatives. It’s a joke.

Let’s remember: Our nation is hurdling toward $30 trillion in debt thanks to Congress’ inability to exercise self-control. With interest rates around 1.7%, that means that one out of every seven dollars the federal government collects in tax revenue goes to pay interest on the national debt. American taxpayers are getting absolutely zero return on 14% of their tax dollars. Imagine if a business were run that way it would never last.

To avoid a fiscal calamity, it would be logical for President Biden and the Democrats to take a pragmatic approach to the issues facing our nation, practice some fiscal discipline and do only what is absolutely necessary. Of course, that wouldn’t satisfy their radical left base. For Democrats, it’s an all or nothing game. They don’t care about the impact government’s binge spending will have on our children and grandchildren, and they aren’t even pretending to work in a bipartisan fashion.

That’s exactly what we’ve seen in the first two major acts of Biden‘s presidency. The man who ran a campaign rooted in pledges to unify America immediately cowered to the demands of the woke mob and his party’s tax and spend radicals in Congress. The Democrats believe we can just tax and regulate our way out of every problem, and it’s insanity.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Like COVID relief, increasing investments in infrastructure has broad bipartisan support. Republicans and Democrats alike share a desire to bring America’s roads, bridges, seaports, and airports back to being the best in the world and use these innovations to address the growing threats posed by climate change.

As Governor of Florida, I oversaw the investment of $85 billion in critical and innovative infrastructure projects. The difference in what we did in Florida and what Biden wants? We funded roads, bridges, and ports and never raised taxes once to do it. That’s because we focused on cutting taxes and eliminating burdensome regulations and fought every day to create an environment where the private sector could succeed. We invested in real infrastructure to create real jobs. By doing this, we allowed the private sector to do what it does best innovate and grow. As a result, our economy boomed and it resulted in the state having the funds to invest in what matters to taxpayers, like improving education, protecting the environment, and funding infrastructure improvements. This playbook worked in the Sunshine State and it will work for America.

It’s time for Democrats to acknowledge some basic truths: Tax increases don’t create jobs, provide sustainable government revenue, or solve problems. If we want to finally get something done on infrastructure in Washington, we need to focus on growing the economy and making the hard choices to provide targeted funding to projects that create jobs and provide a return on investment for American taxpayers.

My advice to Biden and Democrats in Washington is simple. Ditch this insane tax and spend agenda and follow Florida’s proven playbook for economic success.

• Senator Rick Scott, Florida Republican, serves on the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, Budget Committee, Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, Armed Services Committee, and the Special Committee on Aging. He also served two terms as Florida’s Governor and ran the world’s largest healthcare company while in the private sector.


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