Biden’s Pork Barrel Spending Bill

Calling it Build Back Better or the Reconciliation Bill; it is Still Redistribution of Wealth

Photo of Kelly R. Smith   by Kelly R. Smith

Federal Pork Barrel Spending
Federal Pork Barrel Spending
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This article was updated on 02/18/22.

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First, let’s look at what pork barrel spending is. defines it this way, “Pork-barrel spending, or earmarking, is the controversial practice of directing government funding in a way that serves local businesses or other special interests. While the term has strongly negative connotations, there is no clear distinction between pork-barrel spending and funding legitimate local projects. Although House Democrats temporarily prohibited the practice in 2011, they are now revisiting the practice.1

One obvious problem is that pork spending leverages an economic benefit to one or more particular regions involved, with the money typically going toward infrastructure and other projects that create jobs and improve quality of life. However, the effect on the rest of the country is negative, with taxpayers shouldering the cost of these pork barrel projects without receiving the benefits.

Biden’s $3.5 Trillion Build Back Better Plan

As of this writing, the “Reconciliation” package is writhing in turmoil. I don’t know about you but I can’t even conceptualize that number. When and if this behemoth financial folly passes, it will be in a trimmed-down version. There’s just too much self-serving and progressive fecal matter involved. For example

Biden’s scheme to inflate government spending by about $3.5 trillion over the next 10 years—paid for with a merging of massive tax increases and up to $1.75 trillion in new borrowing (from who, the Chinese?) will decrease future economic growth and hammer private wealth, according to a new analysis from the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM), a macroeconomic forecasting project based at the University of Pennsylvania.

A CBS poll determined that a meager 10% of Americans knew “a lot of the specifics” about the Build Back Better plan (also known as the budget reconciliation bill). 29% did not know what was in it at all. Surprise!

Liberals believe an inexhaustible fund exists that can be tapped endlessly to pay for government social programs. Tax the rich and give it to a long line of moochers, pork barrel hustlers and ne’er-do-wells. These funds would otherwise have been employed as additional capital indispensable to economic progress.

James Cook

What is in the Reconciliation Bill?

Build Back Better concentrates on a long laundry list of progressive social policies and programs including education healthcare, housing, and climate. Republicans are unified in opposition so Democrats are using a special, roundabout budgetary gambit known as “reconciliation” in order to avoid the 60-vote filibuster threshold and pass the bill on a party-line vote. Why are fiscal conservatives in opposition? Here are the included provisions:

  • Universal preschool for children. This is aimed at children aged three and four. Parents can either elect to sign up their children to a publicly-funded preschool program or to any number of the privately run preschool programs already available. Indoctrination begins early. Hello, Critical Race Theory.
  • Expanded Medicare services and Medicaid. It will expand Medicare services to take care of vision, hearing and dental health needs. As far as Medicaid goes, it will remove specific income and health limitations to allow more people to qualify for the first time.
  • Lower prescription drug costs. The U.S. stands first in the cost of prescription drugs such as insulin and lisinopril. The reason? Right now, pharmaceutical companies can determine the price of drugs because the US lacks price controls. In addition to expanding Medicare services, Build Back Better would give Medicare bargaining power to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs with pharmaceutical companies for the first time to bring prices down.
  • Tax cuts for families with children and childcare support. Build Back Better (here BBB is not the Better Business Bureau) would raise the current child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for kids ages six and older. The new tax credit for children under the age of six would be $3,600. The credit arrives in the form of monthly checks, so that parents don’t have to pay the cost of childcare all at once. This is the intent but there is no oversight to be sure that is where the money goes.
  • 12 weeks of paid family leave. Currently, the United States is the only industrialized country to not offer paid family leave, or financially compensated time off after adopting, fostering, or birthing a child. Some private companies offer this as part of a compensation package to their employees, but Biden’s plan would make sure all new working parents (and caregivers) enjoy job security and almost three full months of at least partial paid time off.
  • Housing investments. This involves investing in the production, preservation and upgrading of an excess of a million affordable rental housing units and 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income aspiring homebuyers, as well as increase rental assistance agreements. How is this problematic? It puts the government in charge of a segment of the economy that rightfully belongs to private investors. Clearly, using your tax money like this is a Marxian redistribution of wealth.
  • It establishes a taxpayer-funded climate army. The Civilian Climate Corps would be the largest mobilization of federal government labor after the New Deal, a massive and most likely permanent bloat of government power entrenching the radical progressive climate agenda in the bowels of our government. It would saddle taxpayers with a gargantuan debt — without any impact at all on the global climate — and allow unelected apparatchiks to shuffle your taxpayer dollars to overtly political organizations with nearly no oversight. In fact, it explicitly endorses racially oriented decision-making. This is the opposite of both equity and transparency.
  • Tax cuts for electric vehicles and other climate incentives. Well, you knew this one was going to be in it, didn’t you? The term “New Green Deal” is toxic on so many levels. This is a way to sneak some of AOC’s key tenets in there. A tax credit of a minimum of $4,000 would be offered to those buying an electric vehicle (again, your tax money, Mr. and Ms worker bee). If the car is bought before 2027, enjoy an additional tax credit of $3,500. If the car was made in the U.S., there would be $4,500 added on top of that. When it’s all said and done, a taxpayer in the US can reap a maximum of $12,500 in tax credits for buying an electrical vehicle under these conditions. When Obama gave an incentive for electric vehicles, people in my neighborhood rushed out and bought golf carts.
  • It penalizes reliable electric utilities for doing their jobs. According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, “By far the furthest-reaching proposal in the bill, the Clean Electricity Performance Program aims to place financial penalties on utilities who do not meet arbitrary increases in renewable electricity generation. The plan has no provisions to ensure reliable electricity even though history has shown time and time again that increasing variable generation on the grid leads to an unstable and expensive power supply.2

That’s Joe Biden’s pork barrel spending bill in a nutshell. You can put lipstick on that pig by calling it Build Back Better or the Reconciliation Bill but at the end of the day it will just drag the country deeper into the financial morass that we already find ourselves it. But that’s what the Marxist progressives do so well. “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”


  1. The Investopedia Team,, How Does Pork Barrel Spending Hurt the Economy?, How Does Pork Barrel Spending Hurt the Economy? (
  2. Texas Public Policy Foundation, Five Things You Should Know about the Reconciliation Bill,

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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at Considered Opinions Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Was Obama the Worst US President?

by Kelly R. Smith

The Obama Presidency. Hope and Change?
The Obama Presidency. Hope and Change?

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This article was updated on 10/03/20.

Simply put, there are supporters and detractors of the work Barack Obama did during his two terms as president. The matter is extremely polarized. But it’s the facts that matter, not dogma or personal opinion. It takes a while for all these facts to come out. After all, his administration was never as transparent as he pledged it would be. President Obama’s legacy is fairly well fleshed out at this point. Let’s look at the hard facts.

The White House Transparency Issue

Obama told the American people, ” My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government. “

One of his campaign promises to meet this goal was to post all bills online for a full five days for review by citizens before he signed them. Sounds good, yes? But it only took nine days in office to break this “promise.” January 29, 2009: Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. No online posting.

Next up? February 4, 2009: Obama signed the S-CHIP law. Again, nothing online. Reporters understandably were beginning to ask why not. The White House response? It’s “too difficult,” they said, but they were working on the issue. Apparently, the high-tech whiz-kids in the administration never could solve the mysteries of cut-n-paste or HTML or even user-friendly platforms like WordPress because NO legislation was EVER posted for the promised five day citizen reviews of any bill that passed the Oval Office desk. There was never even an attempt to allow citizens to participate in the process.

As Sergeant Schultz Would Say, “I Know Nothing!”

This was one of Obama’s most notable evasion of personal responsibility ploys, played over and over again. Despite the fact that he has access to all manner of classified material and daily briefings, he claimed to be unaware of things that happened that he had personal responsibility for and an obligation to be aware of.

The list is impressive. The VA waiting list scandal? Fast and Furious? The Clinton email server? His DOJ stealing Associated Press phone records? His NSA spying on other world leaders? The IRS targeting conservative groups?

Here is one embarrassing quote, “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this,” Obama said in June 2013 when he was asked about the IRS scandal. “I think it was on Friday.”

Living the Lavish Lifestyle on the Taxpayer Dime

Nobody would deny that the job as the president is extremely stressful and demands some downtime. But there’s reasonableness and then there’s reasonableness. Whereas President Bush took time out to play golf about one hundred times, Obama treated himself over four hundred times!

As long as we are making this distinction, it is important to note that Bush took trips to his personal property in Crawford. Almost always he continued to work while relaxing. Obama, on the other hand, tapped the taxpayers (many unemployed in a very down economy) to lavish retreats in places like Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii. That’s thirty eight vacations just by March, 2015.

According to, “The known total expense to the American taxpayers thus far for all Obama travel is now $70,880,035.78! And of course at times it wasn’t even Obama himself decompressing. In 2010, Michelle Obama entitled herself and her entourage to a luxury vacation in Spain. The cost for that one trip alone ran up a taxpayer tab of $467,585. Thank you, Mr. and Ms. unemployed taxpayer.

Then there was the “African Safari.” That one was $424,000. The twenty-day Hawaii vacation alone set the taxpayers back $4 million dollars. In 2013 alone? Obama averaged over one vacation every month. This included a trip to make an appearance and yuck it up on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. That’s a total of $7.4 million dollars for one year alone. And nothing was being done about creating jobs for citizens who were footing the bill. Nothing says, “I’m entitled” like this kind of narcissistic behavior, typical of the new breed of democratic socialists in America today.

Questionable Ambassador Appointments

It is no secret that in the world of politics ambassador appointments are made as a type of “reward.” The problem is that Obama took this practice to an unprecedented level and used it as his personal campaign cash-cow machine.

In fact, prior to his second campaign, he took time to make up a special set of rules so big donors and bundlers would be clear about the process (if you expected an appointment after the election). Qualifications did not matter. Cash is king; show me the money.

The rules were simple. Express your interest in more than one country. Ambassadors may only serve for only two years because there were so many big donors and jobs had to be found for all.

The list was embarrassing. George Tsunis: nominated for Norway but didn’t even know what system of government they had. Max Baucus: nominated for China; admitted that he was “no real expert on China.” Caroline Kennedy: nominated for Japan; couldn’t speak Japanese, no foreign policy experience, knew absolutely nothing about the country. The list of incompetency goes on and on. Even a less-than-astute observer would suspect a thinly veiled game of job-selling.

So was Obama the worst US president? That’s for each person to decide; I simply point out facts as they happened. We know that he gamed the system, circumvented the constitution many times, and treated the office as a permanent vacation while not getting any real work done. Even though the economy was stagnant under his administration, he blamed it all on Bush. He “inherited” it. But now that Trump’s economy is roaring, he takes credit, claiming that he laid the groundwork. He demonstrated a penchant for dismissing any sense of national sovereignty. His “apology tours” were embarrassing and cost us international credibility. History will judge.

Do you think Obama the worst US president? The best? Transformative? Please let me know by participating in the poll on the sidebar on the right-hand side of this page. Thanks. Important research.

About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

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