As of now, Manchin has remained opposed to Biden’s massive spending in the Build Back Better bill and attempts to get certain spending priorities passed through reconciliation, arguing that the government printing and spending more money will only increase inflation.
Speaking on that topic during a recent radio interview, for example, Manchin took a firm stance against Build Back Better, saying:
“First of all, the Build Back Better, way back when, was a complete social realignment, everything [inaudible] you could throw at it, and I was very clear when the President and I talked, I said, ‘Mr. President, this piece of legislation is going to change our country from when John Kennedy said ‘ask not what your country can do for you, what you can do for your country,’ that piece of legislation will change us to how much more can my country do for me.’
“And we are $30.5 trillion of debt and climbing, and we have to be serious about this, but inflation is wreaking havoc on everybody’s lives. I don’t care what [inaudible] you’re on. So that’s why that one — there’s no such thing as Build Back Better again.”
Well, though many on the left, particularly those within the Biden White House or close allies to it, are attacking Manchin for his comments and bizarrely claiming that the spending bills will actually decrease inflation, not all Democrats are on the same page in that respect.
In fact, a former Obama economic advisor, Jason Furman, who was the head of the Council of Economic Advisors, has taken Manchin’s side and said that Congress needs to be reigning in its spending and reducing the deficit to decrease inflation, saying:
“So, Margaret, Sen. Manchin is absolutely right to be more worried about inflation after the Friday report. That means we’re going to need to do more. The Fed’s probably going to telegraph larger rate increases in the future.
“It also means Congress should be trying to do their part in helping out. If they can cut the deficit, including raising taxes on high-income households, that would, you know, reduce a bit of spending in the economy. It would cool the economy down a little bit and actually take some pressure off the Fed. The Fed would not need to raise rates by quite as much if Congress did their job. So, clearly, this is a time where everyone should be helping out and bringing inflation down.”
Whether the Democrats will take that advice and start trying to reign in spending rather than continue spending egregiously large amounts of money is unclear, though Politico reports that even Chuck Schumer has started negotiating with Manchin on the topic of reducing the deficit by about $500 billion, which would help reduce aggregate demand and thus probably help reduce inflation.
Still, such an agreement seems unlikely as bills like Build Back Better are pushed.