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About a year ago, when the coronavirus first gripped our nation, House Democratic Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, described the unfolding crisis as “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” Since then, the American people have largely defeated this virus, and our economy is bouncing back. But President Joe Biden seems determined not to let this golden opportunity slip away. He is now using the last phase of this “crisis” to justify an extreme push for tax-and-spend policies that could undermine our economic recovery.

In his recent address to Congress, Biden outlined $4 trillion in new spending proposals that he falsely described as “infrastructure.” Instead of focusing on normal infrastructure like roads, broadband and water projects – which Republicans have offered in a separate proposal – the president’s plan is a sweeping attempt to restructure our economy and reorder our lives. His proposals include a 33% tax increase on job creators, an expansion of government-run health care, and social programs that seem designed to fulfill the wildest dreams of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont. Those who had hoped President Biden would govern as a moderate have once again been left thoroughly disappointed.

Left wing pleasantly surprised

Despite his attempts to pose as a centrist, Biden has governed to the left of President Barack Obama and many others in his party. Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has said Biden has “far exceeded” her expectations. Since taking office just over 100 days ago, he has canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, all but ended immigration enforcement, laid the groundwork for packing the Supreme Court with liberal justices, and signed a “COVID relief” bill that his top aide called “the most progressive domestic legislation in a generation.” The President has also declared his support for sanctuary cities, taxpayer funding of abortions, socialized medicine, gun control measures, and a bill that would rewrite the election laws of all 50 states.

The president is now doubling down on this partisan agenda. His push for huge tax increases and wealth redistribution would move our country decisively toward socialism. His plan for universal pre-school, community college and subsidized child care are attempts at social engineering that would tighten the government’s grip on our lives. Meanwhile, he has barely acknowledged the full-blown crisis on our Southern border and our mounting national debt, which he seems content to keep growing with no end in sight. If the president continues refusing to meet Republicans in the middle, it will be difficult to imagine compromise.

Tax increases would

stifle recovery

Despite the president’s urgent calls for government action, our economy does not need a radical overhaul to recover from the pandemic. Dramatic measures were called for last year, when Republicans and Democrats united to prevent a depression through emergency relief for American families, businesses and communities. Today, however, the unemployment rate – which peaked at 14.7% at the height of the pandemic after a near-record low of 3.5% in March of 2020 – has fallen to 6% and is improving each month. Our economy is now on track to grow by 6% this year and add 11.4 million jobs by 2025 – all without Biden’s sweeping proposals.

The last thing our healing economy needs is a tax increase on job creators who are bringing Americans back into the workforce. I hope the president’s tax-and-spend agenda will be rejected by Democrats and Republicans alike in favor of building a truly bipartisan consensus. Republicans stand ready to negotiate on infrastructure measures that will actually help, not undermine, our national recovery.

ROGER WICKER is a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. Readers can contact him at 330 W. Jefferson St., Tupelo, MS 38803 or call (662) 844-5010.

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