In Iowa, officials used federal coronavirus funds to build a new baseball field near the famous “Field of Dreams” diamond. Michigan politicians have directed more than $25 million in pandemic cash toward tourism and marketing efforts. In New Mexico, officials spent $16 million from coronavirus funds to conduct a lottery for vaccinated people.
The aptly misnamed American Rescue Plan, passed by President Joe Biden in 2021, earmarked $350 billion for state and local governments to stem budget losses from pandemic business closures and ensuing tax shortfalls. Ta. As critics predicted, it became a huge slush fund for civil servants and public sector unions. The waste was unprecedented. In addition to the examples above, the Heritage Foundation's investigation found that pandemic funds have been used lavishly to rehabilitate ski resorts and golf courses and build tennis and pickleball courts.
Some local governments spent money on raises for staff. Federal audits say some failed to explain how they spent pandemic funds, as required by law.
This is a scandal and should be embarrassing for the presidential administration, which has always prioritized the interests of the nation's finances. For the Biden White House, this is a celebration.
The American Rescue Plan required governments to “mandate” pandemic benefits to taxpayers by the end of 2024 or return the remainder to the Treasury. But under changes announced by Stealth in November, which were announced with little fanfare in the Federal Register, the Biden administration extended the deadline for using the funds to the end of 2026. This will be done through a linguistic code, redefining “obligation”. Give state and local officials more “flexibility” to avoid having their loot shipped back to Washington.
The change will be a windfall for those betting their dollars. Reason magazine reported that an October audit by the Government Accountability Office found that states spent just 45% of their allocated funds, while local governments spent just 35%. It is said that he did. This means that even though the pandemic is long gone, billions of dollars are still being diverted to beneficial purposes. What is the current public health emergency that requires this spending?
Biden's gimmick caught the attention of Republicans, who called the revised rules “extremely confusing” and demanded that the Treasury Department rescind the new guidelines.
“With the national debt reaching unprecedented levels, the federal government must act as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars,” the six Republican senators wrote. The extension of the COVID-19-era program is particularly troubling because this administration ended the federal public health emergency for the pandemic on May 11, 2023. ”
Has any president ever shown such contempt for taxpayers? Democrats created the American Rescue Plan as a bank account that high-tax, high-spending states could use to hide fiscal mismanagement. The country cannot afford that luxury now that Biden has chosen to make $1.7 trillion annual deficits the new normal for the next 10 years, especially when large sums of money are tied up in precious relationships. Especially when it's being wasted on little-to-no business. Its supposed purpose.
If Treasury officials ignore Senate Republicans' calls, legislation should be enacted in both the House and Senate to end this travesty and restore unspent funds. If Biden and the Democrats think the country can simply print more money to cover its spending addictions, they should force them to go on the record so voters can make the final decision.
— Las Vegas Review Journal (reviewjournal.com)