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What to Expect If Democrats Win the House

October 10, 2018 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael D. Tanner

There’s less than a month until the midterm elections, and,
despite an uptick in Republican enthusiasm following the spectacle
of the Kavanaugh nomination, it still seems likely that Democrats
will capture control of at least one chamber of Congress. And as
Election Day draws nearer, we can expect both parties to cast the
stakes in increasingly apocalyptic terms. But what would a
Democratic Congress actually mean for the future direction of the
country?

First, despite the hopes or fears of both sides, we can forget
about the big-ticket items on the Democratic left. We are not going
to see single-payer health care, guaranteed jobs for everyone, or
free college. While the loonier elements of the Democratic party
have been campaigning on the idea of “Make Venezuela Great
Again,” most of the party is united on little more than
opposition to President Trump.

And, even if some of the more extreme Democratic proposals made
it through the House, they would then have to face the Senate,
which, as we all know, is where bills go to die. Republicans are
still favorites to keep control of the Senate, however narrowly,
and even if they don’t, the Democratic majority will be far
short of the 60-seat threshold to break filibusters.

More big spending,
pushback on deregulation, heavy investigation of administration
officials, but no big-ticket items from the Left’s
agenda.

Moreover, even if the Democrats were able to kidnap Mitch
McConnell and replace him with an accommodating clone, President
Trump would still have the veto. After all, this is a president who
thrives on “fighting.” What better way for him to
excite his base than to turn every Democratic proposal into a
dramatic showdown?

One exception to this, unfortunately, is liable to be increased
spending and bigger deficits. While it is difficult to imagine a
more spendthrift Congress than this one (spending is up 7 percent
over last year, for instance, and next year’s deficit will
top $1 trillion), but history suggests that the combination of a
Democratic Congress and Republican president tends toward even
greater profligacy.

Of course, once they are in the opposition, House Republicans
might suddenly rediscover their opposition to big spending (it’s
surprising how that works), but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Certainly, President Trump has shown no inclination to curb
excessive spending. And some Democratic initiatives, like a
gigantic infrastructure boondoggle, may be particularly appealing
to this president.

A Democratic Congress may be able to slow President Trump’s
deregulatory efforts but won’t be able to stop them. That’s
because, following the lead of his predecessors, he is
accomplishing many of his goals through executive actions.
Democrats will continue to learn that if …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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