LARRY KUDLOW: Biden's economic vision is an unlimited welfare state

Kudlow blasts Biden's agenda

I know it's Monday of a new week, but I want to go back to the Tuesday of last week, which happened to be President Joe Biden's State of the Union message.   

I re-read it over the weekend, along with some commentary about it, and, you know, from the standpoint of free market capitalism, or free enterprise, or life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Biden's message was just awful, a disaster. I mean, really bad! The guy is a complete control freak.   

Basically, if you go through that speech, he has something to say about virtually every corner of American life. Hat tip to the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger for his column, "Joe Biden Is Bernie Sanders." Hat tip to Liz Peek for her column on how everything Biden proposed would cause higher inflation. Here's somebody who got the story completely right. Please take a listen:  

SARAH SANDERS: "I’m for freedom, he’s for government control. In the radical left’s America, Washington taxes you and lights your hard-earned money on fire, but you get crushed with high gas prices, empty grocery shelves and our children are taught to hate one another on account of their race, but not to love one another or our great country. Whether Joe Biden believes this madness or is simply too weak to resist it, his administration has been completely hijacked by the radical left. The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left. The choice is between normal or crazy."  


There you have it: normal or crazy. Sarah is right. I myself wrote about Biden's big government socialism and his regulatory assault on drug companies, tech companies and banks.   

He would ban resort fees, cap concert tickets, tell where people should sit on airplanes and dictate airline baggage costs, give the teacher's union another pay hike, restore the full child tax credit with no work requirements and basically scratch every radical left-wing itch in the Democratic Party, but my work was too modest.   

Dan Henninger reminds us that Biden had plans for women, election reform, marriage, gas prices, lead in pipes, cancer, insulin, Medicaid, 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, housing, of course student debt, and I was terribly remiss in not mentioning Biden's regulations on lumber, glass, drywall and fiber optic cables—all used in federal construction. 

Then again, Biden loves electric vehicles, but he hates the mining necessary to produce mineral resources like copper, nickel and lithium.  In a gift to China, his Interior Department just banned mining up in the Iron Range in Minnesota next to Lake Superior.    

He's damaged our energy and national security by depleting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for political control over gas prices and, in fact, there he goes again. Today he announced another 26 million sell off to take place from April through June. Did I just read that the Bidens are now permitting Medicaid to purchase groceries?  There's a massive expansion of the welfare state. Of course, no work requirements.   

He would love to see the child tax credit permanently raised from $2,000 to $3,600 for a cost of $1.6 trillion, also with no work requirements. Also, a job killer.  In fact, every single one of these welfare command-and-control proposals are job killers and prosperity killers and they will promote higher inflation because of the stifling of the supply side of the economy and speaking of prosperity killers, Mr. Biden wants to raise taxes on successful earners, a.k.a. rich people.   

It's called a "billionaire’s tax," but it would hit anybody's net wealth exceeding $100 million with a 20% marginal tax rate on all manner of income, including stuff that's not income, that is unrealized capital gains. Even if there's no sale, no transaction, a 20% tax kicks in.    

I don't know how this calculation would be made and actually it's probably unconstitutional and even Europe abandoned the silliness of wealth taxes but, just in round numbers, it could raise the top personal tax rate to over 60% at the federal level.  

President Joe Biden exits Air Force One

President Joe Biden holds his face mask and waves as he exits Air Force One at Capital Region International Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP Photo/Evan Vucci / AP Newsroom)


Then he wants to quadruple the stock buyback tax, which, if enacted, would reduce the rate of return to well over 100 million retirement investors who own stocks indirectly through IRA's, 401(k)'s and various state pension funds. Go get 'em, Joe. Another prosperity killer.   

In fact, let me wrap up with this. Joe Biden's economic vision is an unlimited welfare state, coupled with rising taxes on business and free enterprise. That's all it is. It's a recipe for economic stagnation accompanied by high inflation. It's an undisguised agenda of big government socialism.  Joe Biden is Bernie Sanders and then some. That's my riff.