By repeatedly extending the pandemic emergency every 90 days, the Biden administration has expanded the number of households eligible for food stamps and dramatically increased average benefits, more than doubling food-stamp spending. The administration has used the Covid emergency to add 20 million people to the Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program rolls, sending costs up by $135 billion. The administrative deadline for the moratorium on student-debt payments has been extended eight times, at a cost approaching $275 billion. The pandemic emergency declaration was even used to justify the outright forgiveness of $400 billion of outstanding student loans. Even in the midst of a critical labor shortage, work requirements as a condition for receiving welfare benefits remain suspended for a third year, adding to inflationary pressures in the economy. No president should ever again have such unilateral powers of the purse.
Phil Gramm and Michael Solon in the Wall Street Journal.