Let’s begin at the beginning. Save America. Kill the bill. It seemed quixotic a few months ago when I began this mantra. Well, events are moving at the speed of light. Headlines Thursday were breathtaking. I think there is now a high and rising probability that the bill — in all of its fading majesty — will be killed.
There’s an old saying by somebody somewhere — I believe it was Napoleon — that says, “Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.” Right now the Democrats are destroying themselves. They’ve moved from a circular firing squad to a public hanging, and that in my view is progress.
Here was my wakeup call this morning: “White House tells Democrats that corporate tax hike unlikely in current bill.” This from a congressional source familiar with the discussions. It was a Reuters story. Then the Wall Street Journal news story “Sinema’s opposition stymies Democrats’ planned tax rate increases.”
Then from the Washington Post: “White House considers new taxes on billionaires, stock buybacks as higher corporate rate appears to fall out of economic package.” Well, they can consider all they want but Senator Kyrsten Sinema just blew a trillion dollar hole in the budget reconciliation package. She opposes higher tax rates on corporations, individuals, and capital gains.
Wow. It doesn’t get any better than that. I’m really dying to meet her. My contacts in Washington tell me she’s standing firm, immovable. You’ve heard me say that there are two major obstacles to passing the dreaded budget bill. One, is Joe Manchin, and second is Kyrsten Sinema. Mr. Manchin opposes the spending and the Green New Deal. Sinema opposes the tax hikes. They make a wonderful Washington power couple.
And then there’s all this jabber walk among the liberal media that somehow Team Biden is going to persuade Mr. Manchin and then roll Ms. Sinema. This is just left-wing talk. Senator Manchin will not relent on means testing and workfare for the various big government socialist entitlement state expansion supported by the far-left progressives.
Nor will he relent on the Hyde Amendment for any new spending plans. This long-standing legislation says no federal funding for abortions. He’s not going to give in. Means test; workfare; Hyde amendment. Ms. Sinema’s not going to give in on corporate, individual, and capital gains tax hikes. She won’t give in.
Mr. Biden keeps telling us it’s a cost-free package. Even today, a White House deputy press spokesperson said: “This legislation is zero dollars.” That echoes what President Biden said Wednesday. Mr. Biden had kind of a bad day about this whole subject:
“What are we doing? This is the United States of America. Damn it. What are we doing?”
Well, Ms. Sinema just made it a lot less cost-free. There’s no pay-fors. It cannot be done. Now, I hear Senator Mark Warner is telling the president and others to drop reconciliation and just pass the infrastructure bill. Our friends on the far left won’t like that, will they? They’ll probably vote against it.
Then our friends among the so-called moderate house Democrats won’t like it because it won’t have a restoration of the state and local tax deduction. Two weeks before a possible upset in the governor’s race in Virginia, where Republican Glen Youngkin is now running even with Democrat Terry McAuliffe. And Joe Biden’s polls falling like boulders.
A GOP win would be an earthquake. Democrats would run to the hills as far away from Mr. Biden as they possibly could.
Joe Manchin said Thursday: “This is not going to happen anytime soon.” Not this week. Not by Halloween. Not by Glasgow. Probably not ever.
Which, by the way, could be one reason why the stock market has been trending higher so nicely. Looks to me like we are saving America. And we are killing the bill. Mr. Biden’s principal domestic policy is falling apart all around him. The cement is cracking around his feet. He has nowhere to go, and no idea what to do next. Wow. Save America. Kill the bill. Will wonders never cease?
From Mr. Kudlow’s broadcast on Fox News.