Kevin McLaughlin: Stop Biden's $  3.5 trillion boondoggle – Manchin shows moderate Dems how to survive midterms

Just before a weary nation paused for the holiday weekend, the West Virginia Democrat took a hatchet to the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion spending package, which has become the crown jewel on the left’s legislative wish list.  

In a guest Wall Street Journal column, Manchin accurately accused the bill of having, “no regard to rising inflation, crippling debt or the inevitability of future crises” and said “ignoring the fiscal consequences of our policy choices will create a disastrous future for the next generation of Americans.” 


Of course, Manchin has perfected the kabuki dance of talking the moderate talk before falling in line with his party’s liberals. In 2021 alone, he cast the tie-breaking vote for Biden’s first $ 1.9 trillion spending package and the so-called For The People Act in June.  

But if Manchin’s opposition is genuine, it marks the latest blow in a sea of setbacks for Biden. With his razor-thin congressional majorities, the president’s domestic agenda was already on thin ice. The fiasco in Afghanistan robbed Biden of precious political capital. Arizona’s Sinema has remained steadfast in her opposition.  

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Now, the real question is where are the other “moderate” members of the Democratic caucus? 

As the political ground crumbles beneath Biden’s feet, opposing the left’s $ 3.5 trillion package is becoming easier by the day. Also known as the “Bernie Budget,” (the Vermont socialist has hit the road trying to sell it), it includes the worst provisions that party leaders knew they could not stuff into the smaller infrastructure package while keeping a straight face about any semblance of “bipartisanship.” 

It is chock full of giveaways to powerful special interest groups in the coalition. For the Green New Dealers and the limousine Liberals, there are huge tax hikes on energy producers and corresponding giveaways for wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles.  

For the labor unions, it includes the “PRO Act,” a pet project of Sanders that would line union coffers with cash so they can elect more liberals. For the immigration groups, there is amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. 

The summer marked a decided shift in the political winds. Biden’s approval numbers took a nosedive.

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