The aging Americans who set federal Covid policy seem poised to impose yet another scientifically dubious burden on young people who are at little or no risk from the virus. CNN reports:

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to recommend everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status, as it updates its masking guidelines on Tuesday, according to an administration health official.

Time will tell whether the physical limitations imposed by government on children in this era inflict more damage than the financial obligations from Covid-related spending that today’s children will someday have to bear as adult taxpayers.

At least on the latter infliction, federal policy makers have an easy way to begin lightening the burden earmarked for America’s kids. The good news is that as staggeringly expensive as the Covid lockdowns were, it seems they were not quite as expensive as lawmakers expected. In a press release today, ranking member Jason Smith (R., Mo.) of the House Budget Committee notes the rare opportunity for Beltway savings:

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) last week published a report on federal pandemic relief aid detailing large sums of federal funding that remain unspent. As Congressional Democrats continue their calls for at least $3.5 trillion in new government spending, the GAO report estimates that more than $1 trillion in pandemic relief aid approved over the last year remains unspent, including $156 billion by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and another $210 billion that was allocated for state and local governments.

Last week’s GAO report tallied the emergency federal spending of this era and the taxpayer funds that haven’t yet gone out the door:

Six relief laws, including the [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020], had been enacted as of May 31, 2021, to address the public health and economic threats posed by COVID-19. As of May 31, 2021, of the $4.7 trillion appropriated by these six laws for COVID-19 relief—including about $1.6 trillion appropriated by [the American Rescue Plan Act], which was enacted in March 2021—the federal government had obligated a total of $3.5 trillion and had expended $3.0 trillion, as reported by federal agencies.

Our former colleague Stephen Moore at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity makes the case for redirecting the massive pile of taxpayer cash:



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