Don’t do it Democrats. Don’t forego cash benefits for working families.

If the District of Columbia had two U.S. senators, they would surely be Democrats, no one would care what Joe Manchin thinks, and about 350,000 Nevada families would still receive direct monthly payments under the expanded tax credit program. for kids because the Build Back Better Bill would be the law.

But no.

And now?

Earlier this year, Democratic members of Congress seeking re-election in Nevada viewed the expansion of the child tax credit not only as a huge political achievement, but also as a key campaign issue.

This has been a great political success. Adam Laxalt even tried to get TV stations to stop airing an ad saying he was against it.

Let it sink in: Adam Laxalt, the big government hater, didn’t want voters to think he was against a big government agenda.

This is all the more astonishing since Laxalt and other Republicans have convinced a large part of the electorate that government spending is responsible for inflation. It’s wrong. But even if you think the spending has overheated the economy, by far the only program that has pumped more money into the economy faster than anything Biden and the Democrats have done is the expanded tax credit for children.

And yet Laxalt is afraid of being against it.

From July to December, the child tax credit — as expanded under the U.S. bailout passed by Biden and Democrats without a single Republican vote — provided monthly payments to Nevada totaling about $900. million dollars to more than 350,000 households representing nearly 600,000 children.

Again, that’s $900 million over six months. It’s no wonder the program is consistently called the greatest anti-poverty program passed by Congress in most of our lifetime.

Now here we go, because Manchin, coming to a conclusion for which there is no historical evidence, believes he knows better than everyone else.

Super high on his own supply, Manchin refused to back the Build Back Better social infrastructure bill that would have extended the child tax credit for at least a year.

Building back better could be a toast.

But Congress still has a chance to reinstate direct monthly benefits for working families.

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney’s proposal, which he unveiled almost a year ago, would provide families with $350 per month for each young child and $250 for each school-aged child. It’s actually more generous than the recently expired child tax credit program.

Democrats could have trouble with how Romney’s plan would be funded — by cutting the temporary relief program for needy families, for example. Or by removing that stupid SALT deduction – state and local taxes – a tax cut for the rich that a handful of short-sighted blue state Democrats think is next to godliness.

But that’s what it’s all about.

Romney relaunched his plan when it became clear that Manchin was going to be, well, Manchin.

And the White House has indicated it’s ready to give Romney’s proposal another look.

With Manchin benching Build Back Better and the twisted filibuster cult of Kyrsten Sinema killing voting rights legislation, Democrats seem mostly confused as to what exactly they’re trying to do these days. Sending out press releases about investing one hundred and ninety-eight bridges to be named later — something Nevada senators did last week — won’t energize grassroots voters. nor what remains of a swing electorate.

So here’s the thing: In the interest of working families, the best path for policymakers could lead to Romney.

At this point in the proceedings, Democrats should probably take it. Unless they have a plan to restore a program that has become a lifeline for Nevada families, in which case they really should get on it. Families have already missed a month of the biggest program Democrats have introduced since the Johnson administration. The more months there are like this, the more difficult it will be to restore or replace it.


But would any GOP senators support Romney’s plan? We are only in January. That means there’s quite a bit of time for a grumpy, owly, crossover electorate to realize that, whether it’s the economy, the virus, education or whatever, the orientation mainstay of the Republican agenda is fundamentally negative. They are really for nothing. They are just against everything Democrats do (including voting). The GOP agenda doesn’t go beyond urging people to be even more grumpy, owly, and cross.

After wallowing in this for quite some time now, by October when early voting begins, the electorate might be weary of Republicans offering nothing but a scarier mood.

A few Republicans have already expressed interest in Romney’s direct cash benefit proposal. And Romney seems to think he can get some of his fellow Republicans on board. Some of them might want to be for anything other than censoring US history lessons to preserve and protect white supremacy, so maybe he can.

Now for some notes from the GOP governor’s primary circus

Degrading for Dean. A few days ago, eight Republicans who call themselves gubernatorial candidates showed up for a “debate.” I had never heard of three of them. Other than Dean Heller, the only other people on stage to win a race are John Lee and Michele Fiore, and the races they won fell woefully short on the ballot compared to Heller’s resume.

Yes, hardly anyone, regardless of political affiliation, takes Heller seriously anymore. But during the debate, Heller managed to do the unthinkable: make himself look even smaller.

Joe Lombardo’s handlers, Ryan Erwin and Mike Slanker, obviously thought better of tarnishing their product by allowing him to appear on the same stage as the rest of the circus performers. Erwin and Slanker took care of Heller. You have to wonder if Heller would have been there if they were still doing it.

As for the content of the event vis-à-vis serious politics and real-world issues… I admit, I only watched for a few minutes before deciding that life is short. But if what I saw reflected all night, and news reports suggest it did, the event was miserably predictable: Trumpy internet memes, Trumpy buzzwords, Trumpy hostility to facts. In other words, if he had shown up, Lombardo would have fitted right in.


A big year on the horizon for Lombardo’s managers. On the money side, at least. They raised $3.1 million for the big man in 2021. I can’t wait to see how they spend it – and more! — in 2022. Dean Heller and Joey Gilbert no doubt share that sentiment.


Desperately looking for Donald. Remember that cartoonish, i.e. on-brand, video that Michele Fiore posted when she announced she would be running for governor? She spent some money in the Palm Beach market – the home of Mar-a-Lardass or whatever it was called – at the end of November in the hope that Dear Leader would see it.

I hope Trump will support her. Lombardo seems bored.

(The above articles are excerpts, some lightly massaged, others more heavily, of material published in the Daily Current newsletter, the publisher’s morning news digest, to which you can subscribe here.)

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