Even a much smaller bill — say, one that amounts to “only” $2 trillion — would still be a massive expansion of government programs. President Barack Obama’s large 2009 stimulus was for temporary spending measures, much like President Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief package passed this year. Whatever is included in the reconciliation bill would be for ongoing expenditures, no matter what the formal expiration date for each is. While other large, new programs — such as Obamacare and President George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D drug program — have been approved in recent decades, the Democratic reconciliation bill would surely be the largest multi-program expansion of federal spending since the Great Society in 1965.
This makes the political stakes extremely high for both major parties. Reagan’s success meant that large-scale domestic program expansion was off the table for decades. Smaller incremental expansions could pass, but the public shot down anything that smacked of permanent “big government” hard and fast. The 1994 and 2010 GOP midterm waves reinforced the initial Reagan-era verdict that the era of ever-expanding government was over.
Democratic success would overturn that verdict. That would require the economy to roar back without significant inflation even after the new programs are implemented. If unemployment is down to 4 or 5 percent and inflation has retreated to something near 3 percent in 2024, Democrats will claim that their new spending approach has worked. “Bidenomics” will be the watchword, and Republicans will likely find themselves in the position that Democrats faced in 1984, when they had to confront the accomplishments of Reaganomics. Republicans will wail and gnash their teeth, but to no avail; the public will likely embrace bigger government.
This will then set the foundation for future expansion. Much as Reagan’s victory set the stage for the 1996 welfare reform, the 1997 balanced budget agreement and tax cuts in 2001, 2003 and 2017, a Biden victory would set the stage for adding the elements not included in this year’s package. More spending on climate change, a public option for health insurance and a host of other items on the progressive wish-list would all become possible.
This, in turn, will force Republicans to adapt. They, like Clinton-era Democrats, will have to present themselves as interpreters of the new paradigm rather than its opponents. The anti-government right won’t like this any more than the progressive left liked Bill Clinton’s turn, but it will have to live with it. Once the public has set the contours and direction of public discourse, one can only bend the tide, not reverse it.
Democratic failure, on the other hand, would reinvigorate a faltering Reagan-era consensus. If inflation takes off and reaches heights not seen since the 1970s, Republicans will be well-positioned. They will say “I told you so” and reap the political benefits as America’s upper middle class overlooks cultural disagreements with the party’s right and votes their pocketbooks. Inflation is the scourge of wage earners. People with modest savings will watch as their salaries can’t keep up and their nest eggs melt away. Even inflation in the range of 7 percent, if sustained, would be higher than most Americans have experienced and would affect every aspect of daily life. Democrats’ political agenda will not survive if that happens.
That outcome could give the right something that even Reagan couldn’t bequeath: the political capital to cut entitlement spending. Reagan mainly critiqued welfare, government regulations and high tax levels, not the core redistribution to working America that entitlements represent. If Biden’s expansion of entitlement spending is seen to fuel inflation, then cutting that spending might be seen as inflation’s cure. A GOP-controlled Washington in 2025 could then prune and repeal Biden-era domestic programs. It could even cautiously limit spending on the big entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare — the Holy Grail for a generation of fiscally conservative activists.
Biden is America’s oldest president and campaigned as having the cautious temperament often associated with the elderly. Instead, he has boldly thrown the dice to try for an audacious paradigm shift. Win or lose, that gamble will change American politics.
Malaysia's Political Woes Worsen as Key Party Leaves Ruling Bloc – BNN
(Bloomberg) — Malaysia’s largest political party said it is retracting support for the ruling coalition shortly after one of its lawmakers resigned as a minister, putting the administration of embattled Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in a limbo.
Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, a member of the United Malays National Organisation, resigned as the nation’s energy minister Tuesday, shortly before a briefing by UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi urging Muhyiddin yet again to step down.
Muhyiddin has faced calls to resign in recent days after the status of emergency laws led to a rare rebuke from the monarch. The ruler clarified on Thursday that the ordinances remained in force — contrary to what a government minister told parliament earlier — and that he wished for them to be debated and annulled in the legislative assembly.
UMNO has presented enough letters to the king from its lawmakers declaring withdrawal of support for Muhyiddin, Ahmad Zahid added, without revealing their names. The current administration has lost its majority and Muhyiddin “must take responsibility for the failure under his leadership,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid was flanked by former Prime Minister Najib Razak, UMNO deputy president Mohamad Hasan, former Trade Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and former Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan.
UMNO’s support has been key to Muhyiddin maintaining the razor-thin majority he cobbled together to emerge as prime minister last year. Malaysia’s deputy minister, health minister, and vaccine coordinating minister are among the party’s members.
“Up until last week the government had only 114 seats, and now with the withdrawal of nine more MPs, Muhyiddin has at most 105,” said Wong Chin Huat, a professor of political science at the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University in Malaysia. “If he cannot reverse the loss of majority, his number is going to shrink to two digits in days, if not hours, to come. More UMNO parliamentarians may follow.”
READ: How the Pandemic Is Keeping Malaysia’s Politics Messy: QuickTake
The ruling coalition has the support of more than 110 MPs, Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement last week. There are 220 members in the lower house of parliament.
The announcement came hours after Muhyiddin said the government plans to debate and annul the emergency laws in parliament next month, as he sought to end the rift between the government and the nation’s king over the matter.
The motion, to be taken up at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, may help resolve disputes related to the repeal of the emergency ordinance in a “harmonious and constitutional manner,” he said in a statement.
Muhyiddin has struggled to shore up support for his government since taking power in March last year, facing constant demands from coalition partners and threats of defections. In January he cited the pandemic to impose a state of emergency. Yet, infections have since more than tripled, while confirmed cases breached the one million mark late July.
READ: Malaysian Opposition MPs March to Parliament, Demand PM Quit
On July 8, UMNO withdrew support for Muhyiddin over his administration’s handling of the pandemic and the economy, and called for a new leader to take over until fresh elections can be held.
“Will an alternative majority emerge? If there is, the new PM should immediately convene the Parliament to table a motion of confidence in itself, to confirm his power and stabilise politics,” Wong said. “If an alternative majority fails to emerge, the power struggle may drag on. Muhyiddin may stay on or strive to stay on as the minority PM.”
(Adds analyst comment in seventh, final paragraphs)
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Politics Briefing: Pallister apologizes for remarks on Canadian history, reconciliation – The Globe and Mail
This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.
BREAKING – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is apologizing for remarks on reconciliation that have caused a cabinet resignation and other turmoil in his province.
“I feel awful about the reaction and the misunderstanding I created with my comments,” the Progressive Conservative Premier told a news conference in Winnipeg on Tuesday.
“I am going to issue a statement later today, ask for forgiveness and understanding and ask that we unite,” he said.
In July, Mr. Pallister criticized protesters who had toppled statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria on the grounds of the legislature, then made remarks that have been widely criticized,
“The people who came here to this country before it was a country, and since, didn’t come here to destroy anything,” Mr. Pallister said. “They came here to build.”
With his earlier statement, Mr. Pallister said he was trying to unite people to build “as our Indigenous people have done for millennia, as our Metis population has done, as our more recent immigrants have done.”
On reflection, Mr. Pallister said he understood he was misunderstood. “I apologize for that. I should have been clearer in my comments, but my heart was in the right place and so that’s why I am offering this statement of apology today, and asking for people’s understanding. Let’s move forward.”
The Premier’s comments were criticized by Indigenous leaders for downplaying the impact of colonialism. Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke quit her cabinet post, saying she and other cabinet ministers had not been listened to. Some caucus members have distanced themselves from Mr. Pallister’s remarks. Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman urged Mr. Pallister to apologize.
Also, Alan Lagimodiere, named as a replacement for Ms. Clarke, defended some intentions behind residential schools, and was called out on the spot by Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew. Mr. Lagimodiere later apologized.
“Alan is a fine man,” Mr. Pallister said Tuesday, noting he immediately apologized. “I stand by him.”
Asked directly if he was thinking of resigning, Mr. Pallister said, to the journalist who asked, “You’ll be among the first to know if that’s the decision.”
MUSICAL CALL FOR MICHAEL’S RELEASE – The former bandmates of the Hungarian punk band that Michael Kovrig founded in 1996 have put out a song calling on all governments involved to work toward the release of Mr. Kovrig and Michael Spavor, both arrested in China in December, 2018. The two men were taken into custody soon after the detention in Vancouver of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. Justice Department extradition request.
SCORES IN REFUGEE CAMP DESPITE CANADIAN PLEDGES – Three years after Canada promised to find permanent homes for hundreds of rescue workers and their family members who were evacuated from Syria during its civil war, dozens of adults and children remain stuck in a Middle East refugee camp where their mental and physical health is deteriorating, according to federal officials.
CONCERNS RAISED ABOUT RACIAL PROFILING – Two organizations representing academics of Chinese origin in Canada are warning that new mandatory national security assessments for federal funding of university research could lead to “racial profiling Chinese researchers as foreign agents.”
DEFENCE CHIEF NOTES CHRONICLE FORTIN TURMOIL – An extraordinary set of handwritten notes by Canada’s acting defence chief appear to reveal a behind-the-scenes struggle between due process, political optics and support for the complainant after a sexual misconduct allegation emerged against Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin.
VOICES FROM MICHIGAN ON LINE 5 – The Globe and Mail’s U.S. Correspondent Adrian Morrow visits the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan to talk to residents about discontent relating to Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, which has the United States and Canada at odds. Story here.
WERNICK HAS WRITTEN GOVERNING GUIDE – Former top federal civil servant Michael Wernick says he has written a non-fiction book drawn from his more than three decades of experience in Ottawa, including time spent in cabinet rooms with ministers and prime ministers. Governing Canada: A Guide to the Tradecraft of Politics, is a “modest contribution” to Canada’s political literature, intended give people who are studying Canadian government, or those generally interested in it, another resource, says Mr. Wernick.
MCLACHLIN REUPS WITH HONG-KONG COURT – Despite Beijing’s tightening grip on Hong Kong, Beverley McLachlin, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, has agreed to serve another three-year term as a foreign judge on Hong Kong’s highest court. Story here. From The Montreal Gazette.
THE LOOMING ELECTION
-The Hill Times suggests here that Liberal candidates, and campaign managers are preparing for an election campaign to get started on Aug. 8 or Aug. 15, with the election date set to be Sept. 13 or Sept. 20.
-Federal political parties say they hope to hold lively in-person campaign rallies if an election is called – but, with pandemic restrictions still in place, they acknowledge that the events won’t look the same as they have in the past. Story here.
Writing in Maclean’s, Philippe J. Fourner says the Liberals are intent on an election despite data suggesting the likely outcome would be a Liberal-led minority government – and not a majority -“Because [they] could potentially secure a majority and may not have another window to do so in the foreseeable future.” Story here.
PRIME MINISTER’S DAY
“Personal” according to the advisory issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet visits the riding of Salaberry—Suroîtand Châteauguay—Lacolle
Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole – No schedule provided by Mr. O’Toole’s office.
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul – No schedule provided by Ms. Paul’s office.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh celebrates the 60th anniversary of the NDP, and holds a media availability.
André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on whether you need to worry about breakthrough COVID-19 infections after getting vaccinated?: “Don’t be duped by the “news” that infections and hospitalizations are up among the vaccinated. Of course they are. A lot of people are getting vaccinated. But, relatively, way fewer vaccinated people are ending up sick or in hospital and, here, relativity matters. The pandemic has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Kluane Adamek (Contributor to The Globe and Mail) on why Canada should Indigenize the Senate: “Transforming the Senate to truly reflect and include a majority Indigenous representation would be a significant gesture toward reconciliation. It would have natural legitimacy as a custodial body safeguarding the land and all peoples. In using his discretion to establish this new convention, Mr. Trudeau would set Canada on a new and more equitable constitutional path. “Indigenizing” the Senate could be among the Prime Minister’s most consequential legacies.”
Andrew MacDougall (The Ottawa Citizen) on how little (or how much) Justin Trudeau talks about Erin O’Toole during the pending election campaign will be a sign of the Liberal leader’s confidence: “The Opposition Leader will rail about how much Trudeau has burdened the country with debt. He’ll moan about how Trudeau has loaded families up with extra costs. And he’ll no doubt remind Canadians of how Trudeau has let the country down with his various ethical lapses, whether that be WE, SNC, or blackface (times three). And what can Mr. O’Toole expect to hear back from Justin Trudeau? Well, if the Prime Minister is confident about his prospects, very little. Very little at all. If the Liberals are liking their chances they’ll go back to “sunny ways” and once again promote the power of positivity.”
Send along your political questions and we will look at getting answers to run in this newsletter. It’s not possible to answer each one personally. Questions and answers will be edited for length and clarity.
35 words that almost certainly will end Andrew Cuomo's political career – CNN
Dr. Gandhi On Businesses Requiring Proof Of Vaccination – MSNBC
Regina artist seeks plastic bottles, wood for environmental art project – Regina Leader-Post
Jennifer Aniston Talks Britney Spears And '90s Media Attention – 915thebeat.com
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Sports20 hours ago
Latin America’s resurgent left and Caribbean spurn U.S. policy on Cuba
Sports19 hours ago
Canada stun U.S. to set up final with Sweden
Sports19 hours ago
Athletics-Jacobs says reconnecting with father pushed him to 100m gold
Health14 hours ago
Delta variant spreads 'like wildfire' as doctors study whether it makes patients sicker – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Media4 hours ago
Top 10 Casino Movies You Must Watch in 2021
Sports19 hours ago
In pursuit of 5th Olympic medal, Andre De Grasse eases into 200m semifinals – CBC.ca
Tech4 hours ago
Apple to launch buy now, pay later services in Canada on Aug. 11
Sports20 hours ago
Kyle Lowry Signs With Miami Heat Leaves Toronto – HYPEBEAST