Americans are strongly dissatisfied with the direction of the country and the economy.

According to Gallup, just 19% of the public is satisfied with how things are going, compared with 80% who aren’t. Incredibly, consumer sentiment is lower now than it was during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

It’s easy to see why.

Inflation remains elevated above pre-pandemic levels, meaning that real weekly earnings are down by more than 4% since January 2021. Rising interest rates have caused the median mortgage payment to double over the same period.

In a good economy, hardworking Americans steadily get ahead as income gains outpace inflation. That hasn’t been the case since Joe Biden entered the White House.

One of the key factors behind higher inflation and interest rates is excessive federal spending, especially Washington’s $7.5 trillion spending spree that flooded the economy with cash starting in 2020.

The combination of high debt and interest rates have caused federal interest payments to increase 65% in a single year.

In this environment, it would make sense for the Biden administration to look for ways to reduce deficit spending. However, the administration has instead gone out of its way to bend (or break) the law, use funds in ways Congress didn’t intend, and waste taxpayer dollars on boondoggles.

These are just four examples from 2023.

1) ‘Hoarding’ Scam for Slush Fund

In 2021, Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion spending package that was promoted as a response to the pandemic, but was really focused on handouts to left-leaning special interests.

One of these special interests is state and local governments, which received a $350 billion slush fund. Since they didn’t actually need the money, governments got creative and wasted much of it on golf courses, tourism, food stamps for the rich, bonuses for government workers, a pickleball complex, and much more.

Even after all that, there are still tens of billions of dollars remaining. Unspent (“hoarded”) funds were set to expire in 2024, based on language in the funding bill.

However, the Biden administration swooped in with a rule (published late on a Friday to obscure it from notice) that would change basic spending terms in a way that gives governments more time to select boondoggles and handouts. It could cost a staggering $1,200 per household.

That’s a massive violation of federal order in several areas. Some in Congress are rightly pushing back— notably, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., who is demanding answers from the Treasury Department over its egregious action.

One can only hope Congress will assert itself and stop this inflationary scam in its tracks.

2) More Student Loan Scheming

In June, the Supreme Court shot down the Biden administration’s attempt to cancel $430 billion in student loan debt based on a blatantly dishonest twisting of a law passed to help veterans.

Undaunted, the administration has used a series of underhanded and extralegal tactics to force taxpayers to cover the full cost of other people’s degrees. Those include arbitrary delays in repayments, slightly different debt cancellations, and debt “forgiveness” for privileged government workers.

That brings the total cost of the administration’s student loan shenanigans to $132 billion, or more than $1,000 for every household in the country—all for a very obvious political goal.

Defunding federal handouts and subsidies to academia would help to undo the budgetary damage of the administration’s actions, while also placing a cost on the radical agenda of many of those institutions.

3) Mass Purchases of COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids

Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has largely receded into the background as deaths and hospitalizations have plunged from 2020-2021 levels, and the fact children in general are at much lower risk of severe infection than adults, the Biden administration is still obsessed with pushing vaccinations for young children.

That was evidenced in September, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finalized an order for 20 million pediatric COVID-19 shots at a cost of $1.7 billion.

There is simply not enough evidence on the effectiveness of vaccines for young children to justify such a huge purchase, several times larger than the number of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines administered to date.

Since most of the shots will likely sit on shelves indefinitely, this appears to be more of an exercise in boosting corporate welfare than public health.

4) Colluding for Climate Corps

In 2021, Democrats were working on a second massive spending package that included an array of “Green New Deal” gewgaws. One of these proposals was a Climate Corps that would hire waves of environmentalists on top of already existing bureaucracies for federal lands, forests, and pollution control.

Congress ultimately left the Climate Corps on the cutting-room floor, but the Biden administration has unilaterally revived it to the tune of more than 20,000 positions.

While the plan didn’t come with a firm price tag, so many new federal jobs (with fringe benefits) would cost billions of dollars per year at minimum.

Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., has introduced legislation to defund the thinly disguised jobs program for environmental activists.

This isn’t the first time the administration has created a huge environmental program out of whole cloth. In 2022, it rolled out a $3.1 billion “climate-smart” slush fund through the Department of Agriculture without proper authorization from Congress.

Federal Overspending Risks America’s Future

With elevated inflation, a $34 trillion national debt, and major programs such as Social Security and Medicare rapidly hurtling toward bankruptcy, the nation’s leaders should be looking for opportunities to bring deficits down, rather than openings to loot the Treasury for political gain.

Sadly, the Biden administration and too many members of Congress have shown time and again that they have no intention of using hard-earned taxpayer dollars responsibly.

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