The budget-busting legislation, sold as emergency COVID response and “stimulus,” passed the Senate over the weekend. But even the liberal-leaning fact-checking website PolitiFact is pointing out that almost all of the bill’s spending is unrelated to the health effects of COVID-19.
“Total spending directly on COVID-19’s health impacts ranges from $100 billion to $160 billion,” fact-checker Jon Greenberg writes. “At the high end, direct COVID-19 spending represents about 8.5% of the bill’s $1.9 trillion cost.”
Of the bill’s nearly $2 trillion in spending, PolitiFact reports that just $14 to $20 billion goes to vaccine distribution and vaccine-related efforts. This is a tiny fraction, a mere 1-2 percent. Overall, the spending that actually goes to health-related matters pales in comparison to the hundreds of billions doled out for partisan priorities.
For example, at least $350 billion goes to bailing out state and local governments—despite most not actually experiencing predicted COVID-19 tax revenue shortfalls. That means Biden’s bill spends more than twice as much lining the pockets of bankrupt blue states than it does actually addressing public health.
Legislators also included a completely unrelated $86 billion bailout for union pension plans. And the bill pours $128 billion into public education. Despite what advocates claim, it’s not actually money to “reopen schools.” A whopping 95 percent of the money will be spent after 2021.
These are just a few of the big-ticket spending items that are unrelated to COVID-19. But slipped into the bill’s 600+ pages are literally countless smaller allocations of millions in taxpayer money. Many of these carve-outs are for waste like billions for racial justice programs for farmers or politician’s pet projects like $1.5 million for a bridge in New York that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants built.
It’s not surprising that Republican elected officials are blasting the package as wasteful and bloated.
$45 billion expansion of Obamacare, including new subsidies for people with six figure incomes.
$270 million to the National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities.
This isn’t about COVID relief. It’s about using a health crisis as an excuse to ram through a left wing wishlist. pic.twitter.com/6bgmkymuvo