The Washington Post reports that the Joe Biden White House will soon ask Congress for even more money to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Are they kidding?
More money, that is, than the $5.4 trillion already allocated by Congress via six separate pieces of legislation over the past 24 months, an unprecedented and dangerous sum that is spurring inflation and keeping people from going back to work.
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This has to be the most inept and irresponsible White House in history. Not only are they spending us into a deep, dark hole, but they have failed to make intelligent use of the gargantuan amount of funds set aside to address the pandemic, our country’s most critical problem.
A sum greater than what was spent fighting World War II or the Great Depression that somehow, according to Biden officials, has failed to adequately provide for COVID testing and remedies.
When Republicans refused to go along with the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) in March, it was not because they had suddenly become fiscal watchdogs. It was because they were outraged that the gigantic spending plan funneled very little money to the exact problems the White House is now scrambling to fix.
Critics described the Rescue Plan as a grab-bag of progressive programs that had little to do with the pandemic and all to do with paying off Democrat-aligned groups like the teachers unions.
What happened to the rest of the money approved by Congress? The only people being “rescued” were Democrat legislators who faced losing their jobs as far-left ideologues like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took control of their party.
Recently, as Americans waited in hours-long lines for COVID tests, inflation hit 40-year highs, and the White House appeared totally unprepared to deal with the omicron surge, people have demanded to know: where did all the money go? After all, the country has run short of COVID tests even though some $79 billion – more than the entire GDP of Kenya – was allocated to developing and distributing such tests. Tests, it must be said, that candidate Joe Biden put at the heart of his promise to “shut down the virus” in 2020.
People are also asking what happened to the $263 billion allocated to schools over the past two years – the same schools that now say they need even more funding to reopen after the Christmas break. Here is the shocking truth: according to the website of a government oversight group set up under the 2020 American Cares Act, a mere $351.4 billion of the $5.4 trillion authorized by Congress to fight the pandemic, or less than one dollar in 10, was directed to health care.
What happened to the rest of the money approved by Congress? A whopping $844 billion was sent out as direct relief to Americans – all spent. A further $827 billion was directed to businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program, an effort to keep people employed and small firms afloat. Another budget-busting slice of the pie, $674.3 billion, went to state and local governments. The Rescue Plan included $350 billion, which went to shore up failing (mostly) blue cities and states. The funds were allocated based on an unemployment formula that effectively rewarded local authorities for failing to keep businesses open and workers employed.
In addition to those funds, Congress allocated $114 billion to FEMA’s disaster relief fund, tasking that agency with battling a health care crisis for the first time. Of that total, nearly $70 billion remains unspent. Why can’t the White House use those funds for testing? Even more appalling: the government has only spent $192 billion of the roughly $303 billion directed to health care, including testing, leaving $111 billion.
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