Opinion: What price will American families pay if Senator Manchin rejects the progressive Build Back bill again?

Karen Madej

I have to admit when I read about Joe Manchin’s stance, I thought he was in the wrong party. The Guardian reported the Democrat voted no on Sunday 19 December. At the time, it looked as though the $1.75tn Build Back Better plan would fail.

However, Manchin’s rejection now means the vote for the bill won’t happen until early 2022. The West Virginian Democratic senator’s concerns over the cost of the package caused him to reject it.

“… Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation.” Joe Manchin

However, according to Jen Psaki, there is a disconnect between what Manchin says about inflation and the bill’s importance to families, including West Virginians.

“… the Penn Wharton Budget Institute — issued a report less than 48 hours ago that noted the Build Back Better Act will have virtually no impact on inflation in the short term, …” Statement from Press Secretary Jen Psaki 19/12/21

Psaki continues to say that Manchin has effectively rejected how people with diabetes could buy their insulin for $35 instead of $1,000. His no will make it difficult for 2 million women to return to work because they can’t afford expensive daycare. Millions of children who have been lifted from poverty thanks to Child Tax Credit will no longer benefit from the program.

The Press Secretary also says the Whitehouse “will find a way forward next year; to fight for Build Back Better because it is too important to give up.”

IRS records show that the wealthiest can legally pay income taxes only a tiny fraction of their worth. Meanwhile, their employees pay the most tax. The American Dream myth that everyone pays their fair share crumbles as ProPublica shared their findings from raw data the IRS sent them.

The IRS suffered budget cuts for eight years which stopped them from collecting taxes from everyone.

The result: billions less to fund the government. That’s good news for corporations and the wealthy. How the IRS was Gutted.

Millions of Full-Time Workers Rely on Federal Health Care and Food Assistance Programs

It’s deeply immoral that the 50 richest Americans hold as much wealth as the poorest 165,000,000. Tax the rich already. Robert Reich

What The Data Says About Wealth Inequality states that in 1910 the top 1% of U.S. households held over 40% of the wealth. The decades after two world wars with the great depression sandwiched between them saw inequality levels as some of the lowest ever in the modern era.

However, from March 2009 to February 2020, the top 1% have become 6.54% richer, thanks mostly to corporate equities and mutual funds. Other household wealth percentiles have benefited too, although not the same percentage. E.g., the bottom 50% of Americans achieved 3.30%.

By 2020, however, minimum wage earners became our most valuable workers during the lockdowns. As you can see from the chart above, the rich have gotten richer on the back of the pandemic. Many of these amazing and brave people earned barely enough to live on.

The richest 1% of households saw their net worth rise by some $4 trillion in 2020, meaning that they captured about 35% of the extra wealth ... Bloomberg

In the U.S., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamps, housing assistance from the government, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, formerly welfare), are subsidizing employers. Why? Because the companies don’t pay their employees a living wage.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office discovered that the top employers of Americans enrolled in welfare programs were Walmart and McDonalds — companies who have historically paid their workers low wages. Lexington Law

Without the Build Back Better bill to assist families, the wealth inequality gap will widen further.

What do you think? Is Joe Manchin in the correct party?

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Passionate about climate change and living a debt-free, sustainable life. Determined to learn how to and build an adobe house or Earthship. The goal is to live off-grid and off the land. Energy for heat and to power electrical devices and appliances will use solar, wind, and hydro-powered electricity. No trees will die to make my home.

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