The notion that President Biden is an ideological "moderate" is a myth. It’s cooked up by political operatives seeking to normalize Biden’s sweeping leftist policy proposals and appeal to independent voters in swing states.
Perhaps the best and most recent evidence is Biden’s recent decision to nominate Cornell University professor Saule Omarova to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC is an influential regulatory office that "charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks."
In choosing Omarova, Biden signaled not only that he is committed to appealing to left-wing activists—and perhaps even socialists—but also that he fully intends to fundamentally alter the U.S. economy.
Republicans and conservative pundits have already made hay over the facts that Omarova was educated in the Soviet Union; wrote her college thesis about communist godfather Karl Marx (which she refuses to hand over to members of the Senate Banking Committee); and her previous statements about effectively ending much of the private banking industry in favor of expanding the role of the Federal Reserve.
But these concerns only scratch the surface.
Omarova is truly one of the most radical individuals ever to be nominated for a position in the federal government. Over the course of her long career, she has repeatedly called for a dramatic transformation of the U.S. economy that would, by design, limit consumer choices, heavily restrict businesses, and put government bureaucrats in charge of most economic activity.
For example, in a 2020 interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Omarova called for a "new public institution" called the National Investment Authority (NIA).
Omarova told Hayes the NIA "would be charged with the task of devising and implementing and financing a coherent strategy of sort of economic restructuring, making sure that our U.S. economy as a national enterprise, right, is structured in a way that actually has a future and that we actually work toward making our economy more resilient in the face of shocks, big pandemics, big climate change, big whatever kind of shocks we experience that we have resources that we can mobilize and reapportion in the way we need it."
According to Omarova, the NIA would be a key economic "public manager" led by a politically appointed governing board of seven to nine members, each serving terms lasting 10 to 12 years.
"The mandate of that board would be to devise and implement the coherent national strategy of economic development," Omarova said. "So economic growth, structurally balanced geographically and sectorally [sic] and so on and so forth."
Under her model, NIA would control the U.S. economy by making substantial investment decisions in the areas deemed worthy by central planners—so as to ensure businesses are operating in line with left-wing goals.
For example, to battle climate change, NIA might invest huge sums of cash into solar companies, while effectively closing off financing to fossil-fuel companies.
Omarova has proposed other shocking reforms as well. In a paper titled "Bank Governance and Systemic Stability: The ‘Golden Share’ Approach," Omarova called for the creation of a "golden share" for the federal government—which could be used to control virtually all corporations.
"In the context of government action, the term golden share denotes a wide range of legal arrangements giving the government special, exclusive, and nontransferable corporate-governance rights in privately owned enterprises," Omarova wrote.
"As a holder of the golden share," she continued later in the paper, "the government could have disproportionate voting power with respect to the election of the company’s directors and various strategic decisions affecting the operation of the company, including decisions to merge, dispose of material assets, or enter or discontinue a particular line of business."
Omarova’s extraconstitutional "golden share" and National Investment Authority would transform U.S. markets into a top-down, command-and-control, Soviet-style economy that’s managed directly or indirectly by government bureaucrats or appointees. Free-market economic decision-making would be a thing of the past—as would the pursuit of any economic activity not in line with the desires of those in power.
Even if the Democrat-controlled Senate ends up rejecting Omarova, the fact that President Biden believes she would be a good choice for the OCC proves that his administration’s long-term goal is to replace America’s market economy with a quasi-socialist system. Why else would Biden nominate a highly controversial academic like Omarova, who offers absolutely no political advantages for the White House nor for congressional Democrats?
President Biden campaigned with the promise that he would unite the United States and help Americans "return to normal" after they were forced to endure far-reaching, catastrophic coronavirus lockdowns. But now that Biden is in office, Americans are learning the hard way that talk is cheap and that Biden’s "moderate" persona was nothing more than a political tactic meant to fool voters.
The nomination of Saule Omarova proves that beyond any doubt.
Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is the director of the Stopping Socialism Center at The Heartland Institute and the co-author, with Glenn Beck, of the forthcoming book, "The Great Reset: Joe Biden and the Rise of 21st Century Fascism."