Dem lawmakers eye ‘opportunity’ for historic expansion of government amid coronavirus crisis

“The push for bigger, broader government programs is something that Republicans are likely to be wary of, even if they are backing the expansion in the short term. The free-market economist Milton Friedman once quipped that there is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program.”

(Adam Shaw – Fox News)  Former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said during the 2008 financial crisis that lawmakers should “never let a crisis go to waste,” and many Democratic lawmakers appear to be heeding that advice — using the coronavirus pandemic as a jumping-off point to renew calls for a historic expansion of government.

Emanuel repeated his mantra again last month, this time in connection with the new crisis. “Start planning for the future. This has to be the last pandemic that creates an economic depression,” he said.

The view that the crisis should be an axis for deep, long-lasting change was on display during negotiations over the $2 trillion stimulus package, in which House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn reportedly said that the package was “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

That remark brought criticism from Republicans, when Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said of Clyburn’s comments: “When we see a rising body count, they see a political opportunity. Shame on them.”

But Clyburn’s sentiment was reflected at the time in an ultimately unsuccessful House Democratic stimulus proposal that included environmental regulations on airplanes, diversity demands for the boards of companies receiving bailouts, as well as other wish list items.  View article →

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