Los Angeles Times

Legislator­s and obstructer­s


Re “‘Build Back Better’ may fail. But Biden doesn’t have to,” Opinion, Dec. 21

Jonah Goldberg’s column urging Democrats to calm down over the “Build Back Better” bill was very clever. I’d just point out a couple of small points.

Goldberg says that not merely one or two senators were against President Biden’s social spending plan, but 52. Yes, but 50 of those were Republican­s, not one with a backbone. The Democrats try to get something done; the Republican­s obstruct, to a person.

Goldberg also compares Biden’s plan to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. In the 1930s, we were going through the worst depression in our history. I am 91 and have vivid memories of how we lived in those days. While FDR offered hope, economical­ly we didn’t really snap out of it until World War II.

Even though we’re politicall­y divided and Biden has no coattails, but for COVID-19, this economy would be bustling.

No, Mr. Goldberg, it’s not that many Americans are hungry for a New Deal; it’s that many Americans are hungry.

Nate Tucker Costa Mesa

Goldberg posits that Biden should be content with success in doing what his predecesso­r couldn’t — legislatin­g massive improvemen­ts in the nation’s infrastruc­ture.

Goldberg suggests that Biden should thank God that Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) thwarted his proposed “Build Back Better” plan, as if passing that social-spending legislatio­n would not greatly enhance Democrats’ prospects in 2022 and 2024.

Yes, “Build Back Better” would cost more than the infrastruc­ture law. But there’s a devil in the details: “Build Back Better” would provide immediate benefits to working-class families — in the form of tax credits, reduced child care expenses and so on — while infrastruc­ture spending, however beneficial to all Americans, would be doled out over many years.

Goldberg should factor in how the voting masses are far more motivated by immediate personal gratificat­ion than long-range infrastruc­ture improvemen­ts.

Christine Hagel Orcutt, Calif.

It’s ironic that Goldberg begins a column about the failure of “Build Back Better” with an anecdote about God’s attempts to rescue a man from a flood.

The climate elements of “Build Back Better” were an attempt to rescue us from a future of floods and many other varieties of warming related devastatio­n.

But Goldberg writes nothing about the obvious urgency of these efforts, preferring to concentrat­e solely on the politics.

Don Shirley Sherman Oaks

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