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Will Manchin Break Hearts On ‘Build Back Smaller’?

Sources say the senator is holding secret negotiations with Senator Schumer to pass this high-spend, high-tax package that would make both recession and inflation even worse.

DonkeyHotey, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin

There he goes again, President Biden complaining about oil companies not refining enough gasoline: “They have 9,000 leases … they should use it or lose it.… I want an explanation from them as to why they’re not refining more oil.”

On Friday, the American Petroleum Institute’s president, Mike Sommers, had this to say: “Because of the Covid pandemic and because of environmental regulations and incentives from the federal government, there have been 11 refineries that have shut down just in the last two years.”

Somebody here is right, and somebody here is wrong. I'm taking the over on Mr. Sommers.

Vice President Pence, meanwhile, has a thing or two to say about the climate tsar, John Kerry, actively working to stop the financing of energy companies, which of course would include refining operations. Anyway, who would want to make a long-term investment in refining knowing that this administration wants to end fossil fuels altogether?

Mr. Biden’s extreme environmental regulations would never permit a new refiner in the first place. Businessman John Catsimatidis points out that in the last 40 years the number of U.S. oil refiners has dropped all the way to 124 from 301.

On another front, Mr. Biden this morning met with a Democratic economic critic, Larry Summers. We don't know all that they talked about, but Mr. Summers a year and a half ago argued that excessive federal spending would cause high inflation. Mr. Biden said it wouldn’t. Mr. Summers was right.

Yet the president hasn’t learned much, because he’s still pushing for a “Build Back Smaller” package that would spend nearly $1 trillion, according to some sources, combined with a $1.7 trillion tax hike. If these sources are to be believed, Senator Manchin is holding secret negotiations with Senator Schumer to pass this high-spend, high-tax package that would make both recession and inflation even worse.

I hope these reports about my friend Mr. Manchin aren’t true. I have a hard time believing it. He was so terrific in saving America, and killing the original bill. Senator, please don't break my heart. We’ve done enough damage to the American people, and to the American economy. Let’s not do any more.

In a speech today at Chicago, Mr. Pence said, “The night is always darkest just before the dawn.” Gosh, I hope that’s true, because I believe the cavalry is coming. Sometimes I’m afraid, though, the night always looks darkest before it turns completely black. Hope that’s not the case right now.

Larry Kudlow was the Director of the National Economic Council under President Trump 2018-2021. His Fox Business show "Kudlow" airs at 4 p.m &. radio show airs on 770 ABC from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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