By Treasurer David McRae
I am a numbers guy. I always have been. But I have to tell you that as State Treasurer, I have some concerns about the numbers the Biden administration is throwing around these days.
Earlier this year, I took issue with a partisan $1.9 trillion spending bill President Biden signed that included money for Planned Parenthood, environmental justice, and a San Francisco subway system, as well as a massive (and unnecessary) bailout for state governments. When looking at where federal funds were going, the numbers just didn’t add up.
Of course, that hasn’t been the end of Washington’s spending spree. Next, came the President’s so-called “infrastructure” proposal. I agree something needs to be done to fix our roads and bridges, expand broadband, and bring our transportation system into the 21st Century. But the Biden administration’s proposal is designed to accomplish something quite different.
Only about 5 percent of Joe Biden’s package addresses roads and bridges – the line item most Mississippians would associate with an infrastructure bill. In fact, the pitch included $59 billion more for electric vehicles than it did for roads and bridges. It also included $10 billion for a “Climate Civilian Corps,” an ode to a program in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.
Once again, I think most of us can agree something needs to be done on infrastructure – this just isn’t it. The numbers don’t add up.
Finally, during an address to Congress, President Biden pitched an additional $2 trillion in spending. This time, it was a historic expansion of entitlement programs. He did include a “pay-for,” but it was a series of economy-stunting tax hikes. And even then, the White House estimated it would take 15 years to pay off 10 years’ worth of programming. In other words, its committing Americans to another lifetime of deficit spending. The numbers don’t add up.
Here is why all this matters to me, as your State Treasurer. It is my responsibility to manage the state’s cash flow – and in Mississippi, unlike Washington, we pay our bills on time. This spending is going to take a toll on taxpayers and our economy, which will impact state revenues. Moreover, the freebies combined with the promised tax hikes will escalate inflation, deepen the nation’s debt crisis, and increase the burden on our children and our children’s children. Since it’s my job to protect taxpayer dollars, that doesn’t sit right with me.
We have some serious problems in this country. As a numbers guy, I know we can address our issues without bankrupting the nation. Let’s get the numbers to add up before signing anything into law.