Thursday marked a historic moment in the life of Joe Biden. After years of being roundly rejected in one presidential run after another by primary voters, Biden finally was able to take the stage at a Democratic convention as the party’s nominee for president.
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Unfortunately for him and the nation, however, two dark shadows were cast over what should have been Biden’s moment in the sun: father time and the Democratic Party’s far-left radicalism, which seems to infect virtually every part of the former vice president’s platform.
Throughout the address on Thursday night, Biden did his best to inject energy into his presentation to America, but for the most part, his attempts fell flat. Throughout much of the speech, Biden looked and sounded — well, old. And no amount of debate preparation or makeup could conceal the fact (not opinion) that Biden has lost a step or two (or more) over the past few years.
It should be clear to all who have been following Biden’s career that the man who took the stage Thursday night was a shell of his former self.
Not only did Biden fail to provide voters with a captivating appeal on the biggest night of his life, but the frail Biden also presented a vaguely worded set of promises that offered few details. And when he did bother explaining his platform, he typically told half-truths or left out important components of his plans — or, put another way, he lied and misled repeatedly.
Biden repeatedly talked about a “united America,” but if you look beyond his rhetoric, it’s apparent that Biden’s platform offers nothing but progressive policies beloved by the left and long rejected by the rest of the nation. Here’s a closer look:
Biden’s Green New Deal-lite
For example, Biden proposed a catastrophic “Build Back Better” green infrastructure plan, which he promised would create “millions of new, good-paying jobs.” What he didn’t mention is that it would cost taxpayers $2 trillion over just four years, at a time when deficits are higher than ever.
Biden also failed to explain that his proposal would, by design, destroy every oil, natural gas and coal job left in America, as well as millions of jobs in related industries, and force the United States to depend on much more expensive wind and solar energy.
A 2017 report by the American Petroleum Institute found more than 10 million jobs are supported by the natural gas and oil industries.
Every one of those jobs would be wiped out under Biden’s infrastructure plan, hurting workers in numerous energy-rich states that Biden likely must win to capture the White House, like Pennsylvania.
It’s true that Biden’s plan does intend to create jobs in the renewable energy industry to replace some of the jobs he’s aiming to eliminate, but there’s absolutely no guarantee those losing their fossil-fuel-related job would be able to secure a new job under Biden’s plan. And most importantly, wind and solar energy would dramatically increase the cost of energy nationwide.
Research shows forcing Americans to transition to an energy grid that receives 80 percent of its power from wind, solar and batteries — a likely scenario under the Biden plan — would cost at least $1.8 trillion more every year, and the cost could be even higher, depending on the extent to which nuclear power and other, less-common forms of energy generation are allowed to continue.
Many energy-intensive businesses, especially manufacturing and factories, simply could not survive with the substantially higher costs imposed by a future Biden administration. Their only hope of continuing to operate would be to leave the country.
It’s also quite incredible that Biden is pushing so hard for a costly energy plan that would rely on green energy sources so soon after 2 million Californians were forced to endure rolling blackouts caused by their state government’s allegiance to less-reliable wind and solar energy facilities, especially since California’s mandate is actually less stringent than the national plan proposed by Biden.
Massive Tax Hikes
Although energy-intensive industries would be hit particularly hard by Biden’s infrastructure proposal, millions of other jobs would also be put at risk under other parts of Biden’s platform.
For instance, Biden demanded on Thursday that Congress “end … the president’s $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent and the biggest, most profitable corporations, some of which don’t pay any tax at all.”
What Biden didn’t say is exactly how much he would raise taxes on these businesses and business owners. According to his website, corporate income tax rates would increase to 28 percent, 33 percent higher than the current rate, and large corporations earning $100 million or more would pay a 15 percent minimum tax. These two provisions alone, and there are many more, would represent one of the largest tax increases on businesses in American history.
Even when you include the parts of Biden’s plan directed toward helping lower- and middle-income filers, like his proposed expansion of the earned income tax credit, the pain caused by Biden’s tax increases on businesses would outweigh any benefits of the plan. The Tax Foundation estimates Biden’s tax proposal would “reduce long-run economic growth by 1.51 percent and eliminate about 585,000 full-time equivalent jobs.”
The Tax Foundation also estimates that although “Biden’s tax plan would make the tax code more progressive, it would reduce after-tax incomes for filers across the income spectrum by reducing the incentive to work and invest in the United States.”
Health Insurance Death Spiral
In his speech, Biden promised to create a “health care system that lowers premiums, deductibles, [and] drug prices by building on the Affordable Care Act.” But under Biden’s plan, the health insurance system would inevitably collapse after the cost of private insurance is driven to such unsustainable heights that most American families are forced to enroll in an inferior government-run plan.
Biden’s disastrous health care proposal would create a public, government-managed option for health care coverage, allowing the tens of millions of Americans who are now uninsured or stuck in a costly ObamaCare plan — which, don’t forget, Biden had falsely sworn would save American families money prior to its passage in 2010 — to gain access to more affordable coverage.
According to Biden’s website, “As in Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers.”
That sounds great, except for the fact that those lower costs would then be passed on to private health insurers, because, like Medicare, health care providers would actually lose money when treating patients enrolled in the Biden public option.
Biden’s plan would further exacerbate this problem by offering the public option to millions of people living in states that have chosen not to expand their Medicaid program under provisions in the Affordable Care Act.
As the number of public option patients increase at hospitals and other health care facilities, private health insurance costs would increase by leaps and bounds, because private insurers do not have the same leverage to negotiate as the government. Premiums and deductibles would skyrocket, pushing increasingly more families into the government-run plan.
Biden says rising costs in the private marketplace would be offset by his proposal to increase government subsidies in ObamaCare exchanges, but that won’t help folks with employer-sponsored plans, about 157 million people, and it won’t stop insurers from increasing the insurance deductibles people must pay before their coverage fully kicks in.
So, under Biden’s plan, many middle-income families might be able to afford to pay health insurance premiums, but they won’t be able to afford to actually use their insurance if they get sick — a problem that has plagued ObamaCare from the very start.
Faced with higher premiums and/or deductibles, families in the private marketplace would eventually move into the public option plan, and the more people who do, the more health care providers would jack up payment rates for insurers, causing a death spiral that would eventually end most forms of private health insurance coverage.
This is the true cost of the radical, far-left vision that Biden has been bullied into accepting as his own over the past two years: higher-cost, less-reliable energy sources, millions of jobs destroyed that are related to the fossil-fuel industry, millions more shipped overseas, hundreds of thousands of additional jobs lost because of Biden’s plan to raise taxes on businesses, and health insurance so expensive that the system eventually is forced to fall apart, leaving no options for consumers except whatever the government is willing to make available. (Ask veterans at VA hospitals or Americans enrolled in Medicaid whether they think their health care coverage is as good as private health insurance!)
The “moderate” version of Joe Biden, if one ever really existed, vanished a long time ago. The only “Joe we know” that’s left is the one devoted to progressive, collectivist policies that reflect the values of the left-wing cities of the Northeast and West Coast, but that is a far cry from the principles of self-reliance, hard work, and commitment to free markets and individual liberty that the rest of America desires from its government.
Justin Haskins is editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com and the editorial director of The Heartland Institute.