Just seven weeks into his presidency, Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Among the largest spending bills in history, it was passed without the vote of a single Republican.

The plan sent direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans, extended a $300-per-week unemployment insurance boost until Sept. 6 and expanded the child tax credit for a year. It also put $350 billion into state, local and tribal relief.

This weekend, a bipartisan group of senators crafted a $1 trillion measure to repair and expand the nation’s roads, bridges, ports, airports and broadband. Last week, this trillion-dollar infrastructure plan got a green light from 17 Republican senators, including Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Boasted Biden: “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is the largest infrastructure bill in a century. It will grow the economy, create good-paying jobs, and set America on a path to win the future.”

Up next is a $3.5 trillion measure to remake America, which is also to be enacted without GOP support via a process called “reconciliation,” which enables the Senate to pass measures with a simple majority.

This $3.5 trillion measure would expand social and environmental programs, extend the reach of education and health care, tax the rich and take on the challenge of the century — climate change.

Among programs funded are universal prekindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds, two years of free community college, clean energy mandates for utilities and lower prescription drug prices. Medicare benefits would be expanded and amnesty extended to millions of illegal migrants.

All that is needed for its enactment into law is a Democrat majority in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House, the votes of the 50 Democratic senators and the signature of Biden.

After effecting passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, if Biden gets the $1 trillion infrastructure proposal and the $3.5 trillion package, he will have enlarged federal spending by $6 trillion.

This would constitute the greatest leap forward toward socialism of any American president, with Biden’s only rivals being previous record-holders Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 1930s’ New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society in the 1960s.

If Biden succeeds in getting it all, this would not only be a quantum leap toward European-style socialism, it would cross a divide for America, from which history teaches us there is no return.

“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money,” said Sen. Everett Dirksen in the 1960s, when he was leading a badly outmanned Republican minority in the Senate after the Barry Goldwater defeat.

Today, we talk not about billions but about trillions, and that $6 trillion in spending Biden is reaching for translates into more than six thousand billion dollars.

As of today, however, neither the infrastructure bill nor the $3.5 trillion omnibus bill is a done deal, with the former looking more probable than the latter. But if both are passed, they would create new records and new realities for the U.S. government.

The federal debt would exceed the U.S. economy for the first time since World War II. The deficits for this year and last, roughly $3 trillion in each year, already exceed any past deficits since World War II

Passage of the $3.5 trillion omnibus bill would constitute a quantum leap in the number of Americans dependent on the federal government for the necessities of life.

It would increase America’s ratio of tax consumers to taxpayers.

It would be tantamount to an admission of belief that the real engine of economic growth in America, the truly indispensable provider upon whom an ever-expanding share of the population of the nation depend for food, rent, health care, education and cash income, is the government of the United States, not the American free market system.

As for the Republican Party, the conservative party of lower taxes, balanced budgets and free market solutions to social problems, the fiscal debate will be over in a way it has never been before.

Passage of that $3.5 trillion omnibus bill would represent the triumph of Great Society liberalism over Reaganite conservatism.

In his first inaugural address, President Ronald Reagan declared that government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.

In his State of the Union address in 1996, President Bill Clinton seemed to concede the triumph of Reaganism over liberalism and socialism:

“We know big government does not have all the answers. We know there’s not a program for every problem. We have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington. And we have to give the American people one that lives within its means.

“The era of big government is over.”

In 2021, Biden and his party are saying: Clinton was wrong to concede Reaganism its victory. When there is a big crisis in the country, FDR was right: Big government is the solution.

If the terrain looks unfamiliar, that is because we are crossing a new continental divide. We are entering Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez country.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

(19) comments

olefool

I'll never forget the night my friend Joe Bryan bit*h slapped PB at Nathan's Bar in Georgetown.... PD slithered out the door like a whupped puppy....

gjthuro

It surely is a large step into ugly but just as surely it is not great for America and the next generations will have to pay large for this idiotic spending on free stuff to buy future elections

NewMarketParent

@gjthuro

I know. We should have never cut taxes for the rich during the last administration, but that administration really didn't seem to care about the future of our kids.

That's what you were talking about, correct?

Hayduke2

ghthuro - name the free stuff of which you speak?

phydeaux994

These Right Wing Hacks talk about Reaganism, which was the last decent Republican Administration, but never mention the following three, HW Bush (bad), W Bush (badder), or DJ Trump (beyond baddest). Or the Democratic Administration’s that restored our Economy and standing in the World. The Republicans have been miserable failures, trashing our Economy, unilaterally starting the terrible War which has turned the Middle East into chaos, and then abandoning our Allies and chumming up with the Despots of the World.

Dwasserba

“We are entering Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez country.” In case what went before did not get the anticipated reaction, the dog-whistle that gets Pat’s fans’ hackles up. Whoa. Easy, boy, easy.

NewMarketParent

Many Americans have fallen for the fantasy of "If the wealthy have so much wealth that they will be bursting at the seams and it will just come raining down on us". That's not rain on your leg. That's the rich peeing on your leg. Trickle down economics was the best trick that the rich pulled on their own base.

MRS M

Poor Pat Buchanan, who has sadly realized (and must now admit to himself) in his well insulated, entitled, and protected dotage that "When there is a big crisis in the country, FDR was right: Big government is the solution."

Pat represents the great Republican ideal of "governance", which is basically "we take care of our own, and everyone else be damned". But now poor Pat's comparing Biden to FDR. Perish the Thought! This might just put Pat over the edge, while Americans are reminded to ask themselves, again, what the Republican Party has ever done for them?

Hayduke2

Mrs M - [thumbup][thumbup]

artandarchitecture

*Neither* party has accomplished anything that has seriously benefited typical American citizens in the last 50 years. U.S. multi-national corporations just keep gaining more power & wealth.

jth7100

Seven, he shouldn't be.

sevenstones1000

I didn’t even know Pat Buchanan was still alive.

NewMarketParent

@sevenstones1000

It probably was for the best that you assumed he was gone, but evil lives a really long time.

Dwasserba

Is he, though

NewMarketParent

@Dwasserba

That's a good point. Maybe we should see proof of life or just assume that he is still writing from the grave like Herman Cain.

shiftless88

I must have missed all those PB columns when the Republicans were spending like drunken sailors over the past number of years. Including the republican tax cut that put trillions into our debt column.

matthewboh

Nary a peep from PB when the GQP is giving tax credit on private jets for the wealthy. I'd like to get a tax credit for my new to me 8 year old car!

Frankle1

The "American free market" has allowed for the massive wealth gap, crumbling infrastructure, and poverty. "Trickle down" never trickled down. Trump gave massive handouts to the wealthy, but real wages for workers remain stagnant. Example: in two years my company gave a 2.5% cost of living adjustment, which is less than the 5% inflation in that amount of time, and we're supposed to be grateful for the "raise" that isn't... But, we've had record profits through the pandemic! DIDN'T TRICKLE DOWN. The system is broken, if you have a better idea, run for office. Meanwhile everything is crumbling around us and the likes of Amazon & Google, and countless others offshore profits and pay effectively 0 in taxes. Maybe don't blame Americans for wanting our public infrastructure to be something better and blame those who refuse to pay their fair share of taxes. Until Amazon starts building roads and bridges for us with their profits, were going to have to use average taxpayer funds...

Hayduke2

Frankie- [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

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