There are at least 11 trillion reasons to worry about what Joe Biden wants to do to our economy and freedoms.
He campaigned on a platform that The Washington Post called "more liberal than that of every past Democratic nominee." He's bad news not just for the economy but for a wide range of libertarian concerns, such as school choice, individual autonomy, and the First and Second Amendments.
When Biden warned in the last presidential debate that we're entering a "dark winter," he was referring to COVID-19, but his own policies are most likely to keep us stuck at home and out of work.
Biden is proposing $11 trillion in brand-new spending over the next decade. Among his biggest-ticket items are $1.4 trillion to expand Obamacare; $2 trillion for his version of the Green New Deal; $1 trillion in new Social Security and Supplemental Security Income spending; and 1.5 trillion more dollars for preschool, K-12, and higher education. He has also signed on to a $3.3 trillion stimulus spending plan pushed by House and Senate Democrats.
That all comes after nearly $7 trillion in federal spending this past year, up from a then-record $4.4 trillion in 2019. To pay for this new largess, Biden has laid out $3.6 trillion in tax hikes over the coming decade, resulting in what the Manhattan Institute's Brian Riedl calls "the largest permanent tax increase since World War II." But Biden's spending plan, as laid out in his campaign, is so out of control that it would still manage to increase the national debt by about $5.6 trillion by 2030, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Just as scary are Biden's seemingly infinite promises to push new government controls into virtually all aspects of our lives. He wants to repeal Section 230, the law that protects online platforms from legal liability for speech generated by users, and he wants to"take a really hard look" at breaking up tech companies, especially Facebook. He's called for an end to federal funding for charter schools and the reinstatement of ineffective assault weapons bans and countless other gun control measures.
Pick any page of his campaign website's extensive "vision" section and you'll find endless proposals to tinker with virtually all aspects of everyday life and employment. He pledges to "aggressively" regulate all contractual agreements between employees and employers, especially those in the gig economy, and to "establish an Environmental and Climate Justice Division within the U.S. Department of Justice." In "Joe's Agenda for Students," he promises to require "aggressive methane pollution limits for oil and gas operations" while also making "four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free for all students whose family incomes are below $125,000."
Biden was a late-night punchline for much of his half-century in the public eye because of his constant gaffes and scandals. But he is also a battle-hardened politician whose time may have finally come.
Joe Biden's likely season in the sun comes nearly 50 years after he first entered national politics—and he may well usher in a dark winter that will persist long after next spring's bloom.
Written by Nick Gillespie; graphics and edited by Lex Villena; additional graphics, Isaac Reese.
Music Credits: "Two Dogs" by Lex Villena, "Charon" by Yehezkel Raz.
Photo Credits: Gage Skidmore, Mueller MSC, World Economic Forum, ID 125814381© Korrawin Khanta Dreamstime.com, Dan Smith, ID 48504654 © Piotr Marcinski | Dreamstime.com