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Grumpy Old Men battle over Biden social infrastructure cost

When Joe Biden took office, he said he wanted to expand programs for people. Expanded Medicare, discount daycare, free community college, free pre-k, paid family leave.

 

It’s the kind of plan that would help nearly everyone who needs it—young or old, black or white, republican or democrat. And it was a big vision, with an even bigger price tag–$3.5 trillion.

 

But Biden didn’t count on running into the political version of Grumpy Old Men. Two ancient  guys named Manchin and Sanders who want to duke it out over how much of the people’s money the people should get back.

 

In one corner, Senator Joe Manchin. He’s a millionaire who represents the state of West Virginia, where real live hillbillies once held the family feud that makes the gameshow look like child’s play. He’s fighting to make sure people get less than the president wants to give.

 

In the other corner, Bernie Sanders, who puts the heart in bleeding heart liberal. Bernie’s a millionaire, too, but he talks about poverty a lot, so young people love him, kinda like you love that crazy old uncle who’s always showing out at the barbecue. Bernie wants the people to get more.

 

So, while Manchin chills on his private yacht, telling us we don’t need that much money, Bernie is pulling out what’s left of his hair. Because Bernie knows he won’t be around forever, and now is the best chance he’s ever had to be up front when America finally builds a real safety net.

 

I’m with Bernie on this one. We need the whole $3.5 trillion if it means better health care, better childcare, more time with family and more money to live on. If it means we’re spending it on people, not war, let’s spend it. And as for Joe Manchin, we never heard him complain about the cost of dropping bombs on Afghans. We don’t want to hear him complain about spending money on us.

Photo: Bernie Sanders By. Gage Skidmore

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