Debates 2020

Democrats Have a Massive To-Do List If Joe Biden Wins

But on big-picture fiscal issues, are Democrats and Republicans really so far apart?


Last week featured a surprisingly taciturn Vice Presidential debate that was notable more for what the candidates didn't say than what they did. But make no mistake: Health care, the federal budget, infrastructure and energy are all going to be subjects of intense legislative wrangling over the next four years, no matter who wins in November.

Democrats in particular have a far-reaching agenda that they will attempt to enact should they win back control of the White House and the Senate, as election odds-makers now believe is likely. But are Democrats and Republicans really so far apart?

On this week's Reason Roundtable podcast, Nick GillespieKatherine Mangu-WardPeter Suderman, and Eric Boehm discuss what comes next if Democrats take the Senate, and President Donald Trump's plans for a second term. Also before the panel: Last week's debate, the fate of the filibuster, what to expect from the battle over Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, COVID-era baseball, and the decline of Saturday Night Live. 

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: "government funded weed" by Black Ant.

Relevant links from the show:

"Why Can't They Both Lose?" by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"The Case Against Trump: Donald Trump Is an Enemy of Freedom," by Matt Welch

"The Pence-Harris Debate Was a Model of Civility, Evasion, and Obfuscation," by Jacob Sullum 

"The Case Against Biden: Joe Biden's Politics of Panic," by Jacob Sullum 

"Debt Reckoning," by Peter Suderman

"Mike Pence Says Joe Biden Will Repeal Trump's Tariffs. That's a Good Idea!" by Eric Boehm 

"Both Pence and Harris Dodged the Only Important Question at the Vice Presidential Debate," by Eric Boehm 

"Coronavirus in Congress Won't Stop Barrett Confirmation Hearings, Which Start Today," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown


NEXT: Corey DeAngelis: COVID-19 Is Super-Spreading School Choice

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “But on big-picture fiscal issues, are Democrats and Republicans really so far apart?”

    There’s a $3.5 trillion stimulus bill that is being completely ignored right now–because the Senate Republicans prefer to spend nothing on stimulus.

    Add in the $trilliions Biden wants to spend on his version of the Green New Deal–and why would you ask such a ridiculous question?

    1. Because the reason staff are ridiculous people.

      1. Are they even living in the same world as the rest of us anymore? I’m starting to think that calling progressives dishonest is giving them the benefit of the doubt. If they really believe in the strange world they describe, isn’t that even worse?

          1. If you genuinely believe that there’s no difference between spending $5.5 trillion and not spending $5.5 trillion, then the only person who should bother trying to reason with you is a mental health professional.

            1. Google is by and by paying $27485 to $29658 consistently for taking a shot at the web from home. I have joined this action 2 months back and I have earned $31547 in my first JOB month from this action. I can say my life is improved completely! Take a gander at it what I do….. Visit Here

          2. List:
            1) take away guns
            2) take away free speech
            3) pack the courts
            4) unlimited immigration

            And then the whole country will be California!

        1. That’s a tricky question. Is it better if your opponent is stupid or is it better if they’re outright malign? One can argue the two are one and the some, though that depends on moral and philosophical interpretations. I still remember the day when Nancy Pelosi reacted to the fact that Ilhan Omar is a blatant anti-Semite, and she said, quote: ‘I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning’…
          Oh, is that so? So a congresswoman is unable to comprehend the meaning of her own words in context, such as ‘hypnotize’, ‘evil-doing’, ‘Benjamins’, etc…? So which it is then? Is she that stupid? Or perhaps she is completely aware of the meaning of her dog-whistling and she is indeed a genuine anti-Semite who means it? Is there even a difference? Should someone with either of these qualities be in Congress? I suppose not, and that’s why I believe the question itself is meaningless.

          So back to the topic, it is totally irrelevant to me if progressives are just ‘that stupid’ or if they’re outright evil since, at the end of the day, the results are all the same. I need not to decipher the motivation or the reason behind every single force in my life. I only need to gather enough information to be able to decide whether it is beneficial to me or not, and if it obviously is… well, then it’s settled.

    2. Reason isn’t SAYING Obama eats babies, they are just ASKING if Obama eats babies.

      1. Okay, so assuming Biden’s Green New Deal only costs $2 trillion, as Biden claims, and knowing that Biden supports the House stimulus package, the answer to Reason’s non-rhetorical question, is yes, “On big-picture fiscal issues, [the] Democrats and Republicans” are about $5.5 trillion apart.

        1. A small price to pay to defeat the Bad Orange Man, for sure.

          Reason could have been a beacon for actual journalism these last four years. Instead the comment section provides more information than the articles.

          1. The bad Orange man has repealed reams of government regulation. He has supported individual rights. The most libertarian president ever. But the Reason editors are libertarian in name only’s.

    3. I am now making extra $19k or more every month from home by doing very simple and easy job online from home. I have received exactly $20845 last month from this home job. Join now this job and start making extra cash online by follow instruction on the given website………Click here

    4. But on big-picture fiscal issues, are Democrats and Republicans really so far apart?

      Yes. Yes they are. They are really, really far apart.

      And that’s before we even start talking about basic civil rights, which Democrats don’t believe in.

    5. Because they’re leftist shills, that’s why.

    6. He’d ask it because he’s Suderman.

      What difference can there be between R’s and D’s if one side wants to end fossil fuels and the other side doesn’t? One side wants German style hate speech laws and gun confiscation while the other side doesn’t. One side wants to end private medical insurance and outlaw charter schools and the other side doesn’t.

    1. #1 – Release the giant snake that has been animating Biden’s corpse.
      #2 – She who shall not be named assumes power.

      1. I remember seeing a movie where a young wizard must defeat a nameless evil. Ultimately, he defeats the nameless evil by naming it.

        1. Time is now to defeat the nameless fascist evil that is Donald Trump! Name the Trumptatorshit for what it is… Fascism!


          America could be heading towards a second Civil War

          My comments now… Notice how The Donald hasn’t said a word about right-wing terrorists conspiring to abduct a “D” governor! OK, I don’t like her either, but… We want to descend into civil war here? The demise of electorial democracy, is THAT what we’re salivating over?

          1. A good read…


            Why Fascists Fail
            History’s autocrats have been the architects of their own demise. Even if he seizes power, so will Trump.

            Trumpism WILL go down in flames sooner or later! I just hope it doesn’t take millions of American lives down with it!

          2. Right-wing nut-jobs, don’t tell me that I am hallucinating! It can happen here, it has happened here!

            WHEN have far-right nut-jobs ever responded to clearly dangerous LIES, with ridiculous levels of totally unjustified violence?
            Answer: Pizzagate!

          3. Just a wee tad more of touching upon how the Trumptatorshit is openly inviting senseless right-wing violence in the USA, in reaction to ANY Trump election loss (no matter HOW legitimate and overwhelming), would have been a good idea, though, IMHO.
            The case is easy and simple… Der TrumpfenFuhrer has done half of our work already!
            Right-wing nut-jobs like to dismiss the idea of unjust, senseless violence being the result of LIES told by said right-wing nuts. This is just a Fairy Tale, they say.
            They are WRONG!

            ……… ………. ……….. ………

            HERE are the lies being told NOW, to right-wing nut-jobs, in hopes of stirring up “Pizza-Gate Part II”!
            A list of the times Trump has said he won’t accept the election results or leave office if he loses
            Essential heart and core of the LIE by Trump: “ANY election results not confirming MEEE as Your Emperor, MUST be fraudulent!”
            September 13 rally: “The Democrats are trying to rig this election because that’s the only way they’re going to win,” he said.

          4. Astounding! Ouch!!!


            “Shocking Levels of Ignorance”
            Do millennials really believe the Holocaust was “exaggerated”—or caused by Jews?
            By ELEANOR CUMMINS
            OCT 01, 202011:00 AM

          5. Hahahahaha “fascist” hahahahaha

          6. You mean the BLM supporting, Trump hating terrorists that the FBI entrapped?

          7. That article was fucking insane.

    2. #1: COVID Stimulus Package 2.0
      #2: Universal healthcare w/ govt. option
      #3: Universal Pre-K + Free Organic / Vegan Lunches + Aftervschool care
      #4: Massive Military Budget Cuts
      #5: Green New Deal
      #6: Liberate the people of Syria for their dictatorship
      #7: Liberate the people of Belarus too
      #8: Massive corporate tax hikes to pay for the above

      1. But don’t count on #4. Spreading democracy costs money,

        1. There will be military budget cuts. All those cuts will come out of the troops’ asses in the form of pay and benefit cuts, retirement and VA cuts, cuts to maintenance and equipment budgets, cuts to training budgets…

          But the contractors will get nice and fat, the NSC will be bumped back up to 1000 completely redundant people, transgender soldiers will get fully funded “treatment,” we’ll spend billions putting lactation rooms in every military facility, and the Pentagon will FINALLY get that 4th food court they’ve been needing, complete with Cheesecake Factory.

  2. They’ll definitely be looking at the 25th amendment.

    1. The bill they proposed, was a complete violation of the 25th amendment, not an implementation of it. It was an attempt to give to congress a power to remove the president that the 25th amendment gives to the VP and the cabinet.

      1. Read the amendment again. I mean, she even highlighted the part I have been harping on for months.
        The only thing that surprises me is that Nancy wants a new commission instead of just giving the power to the DNC, which would be completely legal.
        (the new commission part is not a surprise, just the not DNC part)

        This is clearly aimed a Biden, not Trump, since the VP has to buy in.
        I think this is a back up plan just incase Biden ever figures out that after he got elected, he never got to do anything.

  3. “But on big-picture fiscal issues, are Democrats and Republicans really so far apart?”

    Your shilling is obvious.

  4. “are Democrats and Republicans really so far apart?”

    Are you all retarded?

  5. But on big-picture fiscal issues, are Democrats and Republicans really so far apart?

    See blue states vs red states.

    See Pelosi’s requested bail out amounts vs the Senate GOPs.

    The answer is yes.

      1. Should we break up the Union and let the clingers wallow in their trailer parks / meth labs or should we drag them, kicking and screaming, into the progressive libertarian future?

        1. Should we torture them all to death, and then eat them? Or should we just withhold food and water from them, and then after they die from thirst and starvation… NOT caused by us, just caused by their unwillingness to properly suck butt with us, to enable us to allow them access water and food, mind you… After they die, we just let them rot? And NOT eat their bodies, let their bodies just go to waste?! You MUST pick one or the other, ’cause I the authoritarian said so!

          Hey wait a minute, silly Rabbi! We could NOT dissolve the Union, and allow people to live in trailer homes and snort meth if they want to! We could use the Union (AKA Government Almighty) to protect their essential liberties, and NO more than that! We could let them have meth and peanut butter and beer if that’s what they want, and NOT snort derisively in their general direction, about how they should be eating kale and caviar instead!

          We could MINIMIZE THE SIZE OF Government Almighty, and MAXIMIZE the size of individual freedom! That choice DOES exist! Will authoritarians like YOU allow us to try that sometime maybe?

          1. first you have to save them from COVID-19, by taking away their business, their job, their vacation and their family. then you have to bail out the states so the state employees can take care of them. then you have to stop them from buying candy bars at the checkout line, for their own good.

        2. The red states have most of the food production and other resources.

          1. that does represent a problem…

      2. What the fuck is WalletHub, and why should we buy into their analysis?

      3. Holy shit. Youre actually this fucking stupid. Using an analysis that doesn’t remove social security or Medicare because it would invert the totals? God youre fucking stupid. News at 11. Retirees move to low tax states. That doesn’t mean red states are dependent on it fucktard. Did you ever even bother reading past the headline? It also ignores shared benefits like rail transport costs for goods to blue states, putting the infrastructure onto the ledger of flyover states.

        Look, I knew you were a retarded leftist but didn’t know you were this Vox’d up.


          gainst a national average of $1,935 in intergovernmental spending per American, red states receive just $1,879. Blue states get considerably more, at $2,124 per resident.

        2. Says he who salivates after a Trumptatorshit, and NEVER takes back his lies!

          JesseSPAZ comment: “He can fire political appointees for any fucking reason he wants.” With Respect to Der TrumpfenFuhrer, of course!
          Jesse’s over-archingly lusting after the super-powers of the Trumptatorshit YET AGAIN!!!
          Trump can fire them for not assigning their entire paychecks to Trump… For not licking Trump’s balls as much as JesseSPAZ does… For turning down Trump’s requests for then to perform personal murder-for-hire… For having fucked Stormy Daniels out of turn, when it was Trump’s turn… For Air Force Captain-Sir-Dude-Sir-Pilot-Sir refusing orders to go and bomb Nancy Pelosi’s house…

          Just when I was rooting for JesseSPAZ to turn from his evil ways, he doubles down on Trumptatorshit-worship AGAIN!

      4. That repeatedly used link needs a lot of context. A lot. For instance, New Mexico is the most ‘federally dependent’ state. The reason is because NM is a vast open landscape that’s mostly BLM land and a whole ton of Indian reservation. I suspect the same for same for Montana etc. Can’t speak for West Virginia.

        I’m guessing a whole lot of digging would find that ‘federal dependence’ comes with a whole lot of caveats.

      5. ordinarily blue states are less dependent on the feds, since they have higher paying jobs and fewer government handout propped up agriculture jobs.
        but thanks to the blue state over reaction shutdowns and overly generous state employee pension plans, the post-COVID bailout for the blue states will cost far, far more.

      6. Just ignore all the blue states going to Pelosi asking for bailouts in the “relief” bills.

        Goddamn Chipper.

      7. Well, then everybody is happy with a divorce.

        Blue states can even take the recipients of federal handouts with them.

  6. On big ticket fiscal issues, are the Democrats and Republicans so far apart? Yes they are.
    Dems want to bail out the states. Ouch.
    Dems want the Green Raw Deal. Double ouch.
    Dems want Universal Basic Wealth Transfer. Triple ouch.

  7. Democrats are pussies, so I don’t think they will attempt anything too drastic like the GND before the midterms. Look for them to stick to relatively non-controversial “for the children” stuff. Unless, of course they think they have a mandate.

    1. See: Obamacare

      The second dems have power they use it to lurch to the left. It doesn’t matter that they will be voted out immediately, the damage has already been done and the GOP is so useless as to never do anything about it but cut taxes instead

      1. ObamaCare is of particular note because of the fucking ACA mess the Democrats passed before Teddy Kennedy’s replacement could end the (D) Senate majority.

        They tried to handcuff the future into fixing their idiot’s delight. Fuck the Democrats.

  8. I am now making extra $19k or more every month from home by doing very simple and easy job online from home. I have received exactly $20845 last month from this home job. Join now this job and start making extra cash online by follow instruction on the given website………EaRn HeRe
    All copyrights Reserved ©

  9. It is not as massive as you think, three basic items.
    1. Re-write the constitution through the Supreme court.
    2. Eliminate all amendments in the Bill of Rights.
    3. Spend us into oblivion.

  10. Phew another Reason moronic moment.

    Yes they are very far apart on the issues:
    1) Dems raise taxes Reps will not
    2) Dems will increase Gov’t control and regulation Reps will not

    At this point the Libertarian should vote for Trump

    But no there is more:

    1) Abortion on demand taxpayer funded up until the moment of birth maybe slightly after (Dems) Reps =no

  11. This magazine really needs to be honest and change the name on the cover to “Liberal party magazine”. This is certainly not a libertarian magazine now.

  12. If you want to see the complete effects of modern philosophy, read this article and the comments. They refuse to see that the real fascists are the progressives and they always have been. From the 1920’s when the praised Mussolini and Stalin to 2020 when they can’t bring themselves to condemn BLM and Antifa. Progressives have always been fascists and racists.

    If you want to see real fascism, look at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

  13. Fuck you Matt Welch, and fuck you Reason. There is only one issue right now, and that is the Democratic party’s lurch toward totalitarianism. Reason writers barely seem to notice the orgy of censorship being imposed on conservative voices by the Democrat’s big tech puppets. Instead, Reason pretends it’s not important because it doesn’t violate the first amendment, or reason pretends it’s 50-50, each side faces censorship equally.

    Why does Reason do this? Because they are cowards. The social milieu of the Reason writers is are effete east coast journalists. These are the same people who wrote how surprised they were that Trump won because they didn’t know anybody who voted for him. The Reason writers are loathe to write, or even believe, anything that might upset their status in this circle.

  14. No1 thing to do …. get hunter to get the chinabride money increased !!!

Please to post comments