Commentary: Worried that federal spending was getting out of control, Sen. Everett Dirksen warned in 1973 that, “a billion here, and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”
Dirksen’s quote seems quaint these days, in light of new spending passed or proposed by Congress to combat and counteract the impacts of the pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, passed under former President Donald Trump, had $1.9 trillion in new federal spending. That was followed by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act, passed under President Joe Biden, which has added another $2.2 trillion. And, Congress is in the process of whittling down a human infrastructure bill, now estimated at $1.2 trillion, to go along with a traditional infrastructure bill costing another $1.2 trillion, which has already been passed by the Senate.