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Spooky Spending Spree

By Sen. John Thune

October 29, 2021

What’s scarier than Halloween? Democrats’ socialist spending spree, that’s what. Why? Because right now, inflation is a serious problem for families in South Dakota, and the Democrats’ proposal would make it even worse. Folks are paying more at the gas pump and at the grocery store than they have in years. According to some reports, the cost of this year’s Thanksgiving meal could be the most expensive on record.

But instead of addressing these rising costs that are hitting hardworking South Dakotans’ pocketbooks and affecting families in all corners of the country, President Biden and congressional Democrats are not only ignoring this crisis, they are preparing to double down on it. They want to dump trillions of dollars in unnecessary government money into the economy, which will likely make the cost of goods even more expensive than they are today.

Not only would Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spending spree pretty much guarantee persistent and widespread inflation, but their bill is filled with spooky priorities from the far-left: funding for government climate activists, tax credits for “environmental justice” programs at colleges and universities, something called “tree equity,” and to top it off, $200 million for a park in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district. The bill also contains big tax hikes on businesses, which are already being hit by higher costs caused by the supply chain crisis and the challenges of hiring an adequate workforce. Although Democrats still intend to ramp-up enforcement efforts, it seems that they have scrapped their original plan to have the IRS snoop on Americans’ bank accounts. Maybe they were spooked by how taxpayers around the country have reacted to their outrageous proposal.

The new energy policies Democrats are considering as part of this tax-and-spending spree would further increase the cost of electricity, natural gas, and gasoline, and it would subsidize Democrats’ preferred technologies with South Dakotans’ tax dollars. It would also offer tax credits of up to $12,500 for the purchase of an electric car or truck. 

It gets more terrifying than that, if you can believe it. Democrats’ bill contains a tax credit – up to $8,000 – for electric bicycles. When you live 20 miles away from the nearest grocery store, an electric bicycle is not going to be your vehicle of choice for getting around. And I’m pretty sure that South Dakota agriculture producers will back me up when I say that electric bicycles are not going to be much use for getting out to check the fences in the far corners of the ranch.

Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of this plan, though, is that their long-term goal is to make many of these new programs permanent – a fundamental change to the federal government’s involvement in your daily life. To say Washington Democrats are out of touch with the needs of everyday Americans is a complete understatement at this point. Inserting the federal government into nearly every aspect of Americans’ lives is radical, and South Dakotans’ simply won’t have it. If anything, the federal government should be the last line of defense, not a cradle-to-grave socialist system like the Democrats are proposing.

As President Biden and congressional Democrats continue down this fiscally irresponsible path that will likely worsen our inflation crisis, weaken our economy, and increase government dependence, I’m doing everything in my power to protect South Dakota families and businesses from the scary new reality Democrats are trying to create.