By Veronique de Rugy, National Review
During the State of the Union address, President Biden listed many of the policies he wanted to implement, including many that were blocked in the Senate when Build Back Better failed to gain any traction. It wasn’t lost on most people, including U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). When asked by reporters about whether spending $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion would lower costs and cool inflation, he said, “I’ve never found out that you can lower costs by spending more.”
He is not buying it. Me neither.
That reminded me to check how much of the money from the CARES Act and the ARP still hadn’t been distributed, but should be in 2022. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, there is about $740 billion of unspent/committed legislative stimulus funds. Here is a breakdown of some of these ($4 billion or more):
› $200b for Covid health spending
› $106b for state recovery aid
› $104b for tax credits
› $52b for stimulus checks
› $39b for unemployment benefits
› $29.4b for Medicaid funds increase
› $26b for rental assistance
› $20.6b for disaster-relief fund, $12.7b for economic-injury loans
› $10b for capital projects fund (jobs program)
› $9.7b for compensation to farmers, $9.2b for foreign affairs
› $9b for homeowners assistance
› $7.8b for national defense
› $7b for child-care subsidies
› $6.1b for food stamps (SNAP)
› $5b for education funds
› $4.6b for airport aid grants
› $4b for supply-chain funding
Here is an idea: Maybe we should spend that cash, get inflation under control, and start to balance our books before we start talking about spending more money.
Veronique de Rugyis a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Read more at National Review.