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Grasasley Op-Ed: Bernie’s Senate Budget is Bananas

By Senator Chuck Grassley from the Sioux City Journal

The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee came to Iowa recently to pitch the Democrats’ partisan $4.2 trillion budget blueprint. Senate Democrats passed the plan in a party line vote during a marathon session that stretched into the wee hours of August 11.

When college students pull all-nighters, they’re cramming to pass a test. When Majority Leader Schumer scheduled last month’s all-nighter, he was cramming a partisan boondoggle down our gullets. By every benchmark, their budget fails good governance, flunks fiscal discipline and bombs common sense.

Senator Sanders is now taking the show on the road, in search of extra credit. His message and his budget are way off base. It’s snake oil socialism. Sanders’ budget, supported by President Biden and Congressional Democrats is a reckless tax and spending spree, brimming with social welfare programs that will upend the economy, transform America and undercut freedom and prosperity for generations to come.

The blessings of freedom have shaped the soul of America for more than 245 years. The promise of the American Dream drives each successive generation to seek prosperity through ingenuity, self-sufficiency and enterprise. Building a business, owning a home, operating a family farm and dreaming big inspires people to work hard to get ahead and stay ahead. Scaling the ladder of economic mobility and opportunity is a rite of passage from one generation to the next.

Bernie’s Budget would cut the rungs off America’s ladder of freedom and opportunity. It would force the American taxpayer to underwrite massive new entitlements with massive new tax increases. A self-described democratic socialist, Senator Sanders makes no bones about it. He wants to drastically change our way of life, expand government control of the economy and our lives, open our borders and redistribute money to satisfy socialism’s definition of equality.

Here’s my message to Iowans: Not on my watch. The Democrats in the U.S. Senate are clinging to a razor-thin majority. That’s not a mandate to turn America into a socialist country—it’s a directive from the American people to work together to try to find bipartisan solutions to our toughest problems. Instead, by trying to shove their agenda through Congress, they’re fanning the flames of partisan conflict.

Bernie’s Budget is bananas. President Biden, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi need every Democrat to walk the plank and stay on board to get it across the finish line. That’s why I’m fighting tooth and nail to hold the line in the U.S. Senate. Their budget would harm U.S. sovereignty, put our national security at risk and castrate economic freedom in America.

If the Democrats shovel another $4.2 trillion more out the door – on top of the $2 trillion passed in March and nearly $4 trillion in pandemic relief last year, our economy would take a beating. Inflation would soar. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Larry Summers, President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary and top economic adviser to President Obama. He says Biden’s big spending agenda will overheat the economy. As prices spike, consumers will pay even more for groceries, goods and gas. Access to capital would shrink, shriveling investments, job creation and wage growth. Their progressive wish list would be the biggest expansion of government programs since FDR and would have crippling consequences on the economy and the taxpayer.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody has to pay for it. What’s most alarming about Bernie’s Budget is its transformative impact on what it means to live, work and dream in America. Cradle-to-grave dependency on government and the higher taxes that come with it cancels the incentive for taking risks, innovating, creating and dreaming up cures for cancer, clean energy, climate solutions and food security.

Bernie’s Budget paves the way for the Green New Deal, blanket amnesty and record setting tax hikes. In their utopian world view, government knows best.

Last week I wrapped up my 41st consecutive year meeting with Iowans in all 99 counties, at least once, every year. Meeting face-to-face with Iowans provides a healthy dose of Midwestern common sense. I’m asked in nearly every county meeting, “How come you can’t get along in Washington and get things done?”

Last month, we showed it’s possible to get things done, when partisanship is set aside. The bipartisan infrastructure package won 69 votes in the U.S. Senate, including mine. Iowans overwhelmingly support investment in our roads, bridges, broadband and water infrastructure. Investing in infrastructure is good for Iowa and would pay dividends for our economy.

Bernie’s Budget is not good for Iowa or America. It’s fiscally reckless and arguably politically reckless. His spending spree would destroy the land of the free and saddle future generations with debt as far as the eye can see. I voted against it last month and I’ll continue fighting it as Democrats try to ram it through Congress


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