Can U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sing? And if she can carry a tune, does she know the words to "Brother can you spare a dime?" (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Can U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sing? And if she can carry a tune, does she know the words to "Brother can you spare a dime?"
At the height of the Great Depression that song, written by Yip Harburg, became a grim national anthem as unemployment soared, the economy cratered and the American dream was crushed for middle class citizens and those aspiring to be so. The lyrics reflected the desperation of panhandlers living in Central Park who had lost everything, including hope. It may well turn out to be the song sung during the next three years as we fall into the dangerous financial abyss of a self-described "progressive" agenda that would place a staggering multi-trillion dollar debt on the nation.
Yellen's pursuit of new revenue to fund Biden's mega deficit literally knows no boundaries. Before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Committee, Yellen was forced to defend the Administration's unconscionable proposal that would require banks to disclose every financial transaction over $600 to the Internal Revenue Service.
An outraged U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis asked, "Do you distrust the American people so much that you need to know when they bought a couch? Or a cow?"
Yellen's various proposals are a chilling overreach that reveals the corrosive intrusion of a sneering anti-capitalist agenda. Yellen's next steps could easily be the creation of a Profit Posse that would track down any transaction by anyone that could conceivably be taxed, confiscated or penalized. The ghosts of commissars interred in the former Soviet Union would smile in approval.
The Treasury Secretary's words reveal much about the Administration's growth-killing ideology -- which has abandoned much of Europe to economic stagnation -- and its pursuit of a multi-trillion social welfare budget, when she says, "We've grown used to America as the world's pre-eminent economic power.... We aren't destined to stay that way, but with these investments, I believe we will."
Yellen clearly echoes the counter-factual insistence that massive deficits are America's future, while ignoring the historic destruction wrought on other nations whose sovereignty disintegrated under massive debt. She conveniently disregards the billions of dollars in "pork" and institutional corruption that Biden's multi-trillion dollar "Build Back Better" program would hide as it installs one "temporary," set-to-balloon government program after another. A more honest name would be "Bust, Bury and Bye."
If Yellen had the political courage of Senators Joseph Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema, she would publicly confront the Biden Administration and refuse to be a co-conspirator in destroying our nation's future. Instead, Yellen would denounce the pork barrel spending in Biden's proposal, and stand fast against raising the debt limit while seeking business incentives such as low-interest government loans to advance business expansion in America. She would also increase charitable donations to 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations to enable donors to have a bonus 150% tax credit.
She would also call attention to the stark reality that sending our nation's disposable income to China ensures that the "Middle Kingdom" will continue to have the economic power to replace the US as the world's superpower and to dominate the 21st Century without so much as firing a shot. Without a Washington strategy to "Buy 'Made in America'" we will continue not only to finance China's growing global power but to do so while digging ourselves ever deeper into financial ruin and multi-trillion dollar debt.
If Yellen cannot comprehend the lyrics of "Brother can you spare a dime," the Chinese leadership will be singing "Happy days are here again..."
Lawrence Kadish serves on the Board of Governors of Gatestone Institute.