Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden unveiled his new “Made in America” plan this week. It amounts to a laundry list of vague promises to create jobs, increase federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, and raise taxes on U.S. companies with overseas operations.
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But the biggest threat to Biden’s "Made in America" goals is his own economic plan.
If he were really serious about strengthening businesses and workers here at home, his first step would be to make America the best place on earth to build businesses. That means cutting — not increasing — taxes and regulations he’s already put on the table.
Biden’s misguided approach to the economy isn’t limited to this latest “Made in America” plan. His version of the Green New Deal, written in large part by the Sen. Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, proposes massive new growth-killing taxes, spending, and regulation.
He’s calling for higher taxes on corporations, income, investments, inheritance, and social security. Most of these increases are intended to hit “the rich” with income over $400,000 per year. But the problem is that the whopping 3-4 trillion in tax increases he’s laid out fall woefully short of paying for the $11 trillion in new spending he’s planning.
Middle class Americans shouldn’t be surprised when they get pressed into paying for the shortfall.
Add on top of the taxes and spending a wave of new green energy regulations and restrictions that touch everything from the buildings we work in, the homes we live in, the cars we drive, and the fuels we use to keep these things heated, cooled and running. And don’t forget the proposed Environmental and Climate Justice Division in the Justice Department, with expansive powers to go after anyone who runs afoul of the new green regulatory regime.
When you add it all up, making things in Joe Biden’s America is going to be more costly, more complicated, and far less attractive to many companies and would-be entrepreneurs.
The Biden camp knows this, which is why new penalties for companies who move operations or headquarters outside of the U.S. is a centerpiece of his “Made in America” plan.
The debate over companies moving overseas to save on taxes—also known as tax inversions--was heated during the Obama administration, as companies faced much higher corporate taxes in the U.S. than in many other jurisdictions. But with the Trump tax cut on businesses in 2017, that conversation largely disappeared.
Now, if Biden succeeds in raising taxes and piling on new regulations, more companies will once again be tempted to head for the exits. Threatening even more new taxes and rules to keep that from happening is not the answer.
"Made in America" works when America is the best place on the planet to start, grow, and invest in a business. That means keeping taxes low, ensuring regulations aren’t burdensome and avoiding utopian schemes to reinvent the economy based on radical ideology.
Right now, Joe Biden’s economic plans are failing on all three of those counts, and no amount of government giveaways, government threats, or “Made in America” branding will make up for it.