NEW YORK — Here is an iron law of physics: It is easier to juggle two balls than three, whether they are Republican and red or Democrat and blue.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D – New York) is the biggest clown in the Senate. Last week, his hands were full, as he struggled to keep three balls in the air. As he manned the middle ring at the Capitol Hill Circus, Schumer juggled like crazy, as the crowd held its breath in suspense. Especially under so much pressure, could he shuttle those balls between his hands?
–An “infrastructure” bill that would cost taxpayers $1.2 trillion, according to Forbes, “including some $110 billion for roads, bridges, and other transportation projects.” The other 91 percent would fund the far Left’s Christmas-shopping list, including electric cars, low-emission buses, and other green goodies.
–The $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, Joe Biden’s socialist booster shot. It’s calculated to cost $5.5 trillion, once stripped of Democrat accounting fraud. Add $200 billion in expected borrowing costs, and this bill’s actual 10-year cost totals $5.7 trillion.
–An extension on the national debt limit above its $28.8 trillion level.
While the first measure cleared the Senate, Schumer was busy helping tattooed lady Nancy Pelosi (D- California) squeeze the first two bills through her fractious ring at the circus.
Would Schumer drop one of those balls on his big, floppy shoes? Would all three tumble into the elephant-trod sand? Would the Greatest Show on Earth be ruined by the tears of a clown?
Suddenly, in stepped the Senate’s second-biggest clown, Republican leader Mitch McConnell. With an empathetic look on his face, he saw Schumer sweating profusely and about to falter. The clock ticked loudly before Pelosi’s October 31 deadline to pass the two giant boondoggles.
The Kentucky klown reached across the aisle and extended his helping hand.
“The majority didn’t have a plan to prevent default, so we stepped forward,” McConnell said Thursday. He offered Schumer GOP aid to lift the expiring credit line by $480 billion, through December 3.
“The pathway our Democratic colleagues have accepted will spare the American people any near-term crisis while definitively resolving the majority’s excuse that they lacked time to address the debt limit through the 304 reconciliation process. Now there will be no question; they will have plenty of time.”
Some consider McConnell’s move more genius than Da Vinci. Americans presumably would lose all faith in the Democrats when they confront their spending addiction, yet again, just before the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
Well, lovely. The only problem is that the $1.2 trillion and $3.5 ($5.7) trillion cornucopias face do-or-die votes by Halloween. That is 33 days before McConnell’s reputed legislative explosives would detonate. Life is all about….timing. And McConnell’s is not Rolexworthy.
“I do not support the Democrats’ reconciliation package, and I do not support raising the debt limit to make that level of spending possible,” said Senator Lindsay Graham (R – South Carolina). “If Democrats want to raise the debt ceiling, they can use the reconciliation process” — and do so on their own.
Until last week, McConnell seconded that emotion.
As recently as October 4, McConnell expressed unified Republican resistance to increasing the ceiling on the Democrat-controlled National Credit Card. He said: “The majority doesn’t need our votes…Democrats need to tackle the debt limit. We gave them a roadmap and three months’ notice. I suggest that our colleagues get moving.”
McConnell’s defiance stiffened the spines of his members and Republicans from coast to coast.
Two days later, McConnell betrayed the entire GOP.
And, even worse, he did so for no good reason. McConnell fell for the loudly shouted Democrat lies about an unprecedented Treasury default on America’s debt obligations.
As this graph illustrates, just last August, the Treasury vacuumed in $268 billion. This exceeded $42 billion in net-interest expenses by 542 percent.
This has been true every month of Fiscal Year 2021, so far:
McConnell should have demanded a vote on the Full Faith and Credit Act. Sponsored by Republican senators Rick Scott of Florida and Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, this legislation would avoid default by forcing the Treasury to cover bondholders first. Treasury then would pay Social Security beneficiaries, active-duty GIs, veterans, and Medicare recipients before financing farm subsidies, gender-fluidity research, eco-fantasies, and all else that erupts from Washington as if from a broken sewer main.
Of course, McConnell did no such thing. Nor did he yield this massive bargaining chip in exchange for fiscally responsible reforms such as a balanced budget amendment, spending-limitation requirements, permanence for Trump/GOP tax relief, or a flat tax. McConnell could have joined Schumer on the debt limit, but only after a bipartisan vote to change the rules and mandate 60 senators, not 51, to end the legislative filibuster.
McConnell got none of this. His treachery bought him bupkis.
Indeed, McConnell whipped these 10 GOP senators to help him stab the backs of their party colleagues and Republicans everywhere:
–Alabama’s Richard Shelby
–Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski
–Maine’s Susan Collins
–Missouri’s Roy Blunt
–Ohio’s Rob Portman
–South Dakota’s Mike Rounds
–South Dakota’s John Thune
–Texas’s John Cornyn
–West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito
–Wyoming’s John Barrasso
McConnell surrendered the store and got not even a thank you in return.
In fact, here’s how Schumer displayed his gratitude after McConnell eased his heavy burden:
On the Senate floor, just after McConnell delivered the votes of the GOP White Flag Caucus, Schumer denounced what he called “a first-ever, Republican-manufactured default on the national debt.” Schumer added: “Despite immense opposition from Leader McConnell and the Members of his conference, our caucus held together, and we pulled our country back from the cliff’s edge that Republicans tried to push us over.”
Schumer’s disgraceful drop-kick to McConnell’s crotch made Senator Joe Manchin (D – West Virginia) bury his head in his hands.
McConnell needs to re-read his job description.
Bipartisanship is admirable when it advances unifying legislation that helps the entire country. But when it accelerates Democrats’ far-Left schemes to devolve America into a neo-Marxist hellhole, McConnell’s responsibility is to run their radical bandwagon off the road, not check its tires and change its oil.
With the Democrats’ two Big Government behemoths in huge jeopardy, the very last thing that McConnell should have done is take Schumer’s third ball, the debt limit, and rest it gently on a nearby table.
Indeed, Schumer may use the filibuster-proof reconciliation procedure no more than thrice per budget resolution. Had he needed reconciliation to hike the debt limit with all 50 Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote, two reconciliation votes, max, would remain up his sleeve. Instead, due to McConnell’s unilateral disarmament, Schumer still has all three reconciliation votes at the ready.
As for juggling, Schumer now must keep just two balls aloft — one worth $1.2 trillion and the other (realistically) $5.7 trillion. That $6.9 trillion tab totals $48,151 for each of America’s 144.3 million taxpayers.
“So now that Republican brinkmanship has relented, Senate Democrats will focus on passing the Build Back Better agenda,” Schumer told his colleagues, soon after he crushed McConnell.
Thanks to McConnell’s perfidy, the odds of getting either or both socialist infusions onto Biden’s desk are higher — at least marginally, and perhaps substantially. This is extremely dangerous and exceedingly outrageous.
Mitch McConnell should stand down as Senate GOP “leader” and let an actual vertebrate help Chuckie the Clown drop his giant blue balls. If no longer all three, at least the two that remain.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.