A 2020 campaign promise of virtually all Democratic aspirants to the presidency was that at least two years of college will be provided free to all non-superrich Americans wanting it. In a reflection of the often seemingly eccentric nature of American national politics, the probability that the likely 46th president, Joe Biden, can deliver on that promise will very likely be determined by a small percentage of American voters in two special U.S. Senate elections in the state of Georgia on January 5. I predict hundreds of millions will be spent on these elections, but if the Democrats win both seats (not likely based on last week’s results, but certainly highly plausible), a Kamala Harris tie-breaking vote should give Democrats control of the Senate, allowing them to deliver on campaign promises.
However the Biden Administration faces a huge problem: money. Contrary to what some of their economic gurus implicitly assume with their economic theorizing, governments face resource limitations, and multi-trillion-dollar budget deficits cannot persist forever—ask the Greeks or Italians (or, in the New World, Argentina or Venezuela) about the consequences of overly aggressive deficit spending or printing money. Italy’s economic growth in the 21st century is essentially zero.