President Joe Biden is tottering on the edge of his most inefficient vote-buying binge yet. As the runoff race for Georgia’s Senate seat enters its final weeks, the Biden administration may rubberstamp a nationwide handout to snare a handful of Peach State ballots.
Georgia has been the scene of some of the most brazen political shenanigans and worst demagoguery in recent years. When Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock was in a runoff in January 2021 for the seat, his campaign distributed fliers promising, “Want a $2,000 Check? Vote Warnock.” Biden endorsed that promise, and Warnock’s victory gave control of the Senate to Democrats.
That opened the floodgates to trillions in additional federal spending, including more COVID stimulus payments that helped spur the high inflation now vexing all Americans.
Even The Washington Post recently cringed at the cravenness of the Warnock campaign. A Post editorial stated: “During the state’s last runoff in 2021, the Democratic candidates leaned hard in favor of more generous stimulus checks. It helped them triumph.”
The Georgia race comes in the wake of the judicial nullification of Team Biden’s biggest election bribe for the midterms. On Aug. 24, Biden announced he was canceling up to $20,000 in student debt for borrowers who earned less than $125,000 (or $250,000 for couples). That handout helped give Democrats a 28% advantage from voters in the 18-29 age group, demolishing hopes for a Republican red wave.
Two days after the election, Biden tweeted, “I want to thank the young people of this nation” who voted for “student debt relief.”
But the following day, Team Biden closed the window for individuals to apply for student-loan forgiveness after a federal court ruled his scheme unconstitutional. The 26 million people who already filed debt-relief applications may not get a dime’s worth of relief. Young people who gleefully voted for Democrats will be obliged to start paying their debt on Jan. 1.
Briahna Joy Gray, Bernie Sanders’ 2020 press secretary, believes that Team Biden intentionally betrayed young people with a bailout “knowing it wasn’t going anywhere [because] they relied on faulty legal authority.”
Yet Biden may procure votes for Warnock by extending the student-loan debt repayment moratorium, which began in early 2020. Biden promised in August, “The student-loan payment pause is gonna end. … It is time for the payments to resume.” But Team Biden is on the verge of flip-flopping on this score.
Extending the moratorium will cost the federal government more than $50 billion a year. But that’s a small price to pay for another Democrat in the Senate. And it’s a cause that enraptures the “student debtors as holy martyrs” crowd. Bailout advocate Melissa Byrne whined, “You cannot ask people to begin repaying on a debt that shouldn’t exist. We bear no blame in this broken system.” (Byrne offered no evidence that students were compelled to take federal loans.)
Even though both Warnock and Republican candidate Herschel Walker are black, some Democrats are playing the racism card.
Georgia law prohibits early Saturday voting if the Saturday follows a state holiday on the preceding Thursday or Friday. Early voting for the Dec. 6 election begins on Nov. 28. MSNBC host Joy Reid claims there will be no Saturday voting because of a state holiday formerly named for Robert E. Lee (did she forget about Thanksgiving?). Her complaint was echoed by other prominent Democrats, including CNN’s David Axelrod. The Warnock campaign is supporting a lawsuit to overturn the state law.
Biden has assured that Georgia has no shortage of election histrionics. When he visited there in January, he denounced election reforms, like requiring photo identification for absentee ballots, as “Jim Crow 2.0.” According to Biden, any limitation on unverifiable mail-in ballots was the same atrocity as the issues that sparked the famous 1965 clash in Selma, Alabama.
The Washington Post noted that Biden lied in that speech about having been arrested at a civil-rights rally. And a federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama ruled in September that Georgia’s election law did not violate either the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act.
And though Democrats are howling about the Georgia law that prevents Saturday voting after Thanksgiving, Dem darling Stacey Abrams voted to support that legislation when she was the Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives in 2016.
Regardless of the outcome of the Georgia runoff, it remains to be seen whether congressional Republicans have the courage to stonewall more Biden vote-buying binges. More than 150 years ago, philosopher John Stuart Mill warned that representative government can become “a mere instrument of tyranny” if citizens “sell [votes] for money.” Will Washington politicians cease squandering tax dollars before they utterly wreck our economy?
James Bovard is the author of 10 books and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.
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