By Rudra Reddy
There was a lot to regret about this election cycle – social media oligopolies abandoned every vestige of impartiality, American cities went up in flames as racial tensions reached a fever pitch, the mainstream media turned into a protection racket for the candidate they favored and a pandemic arrived from China just when it seemed like President Trump was coasting to re–election. However, given all that, one should be thankful for the perspective this election cycle has provided. Both President Trump and Joe Biden have been pushed to take clear, contrasting stances on a variety of pressing issues and that has given most voters a clear choice. Therefore, on the eve of this election, it is futile to fixate on a singular gaffe or damaging policy position taken by Biden. Rather, it would be much better to elaborate on all the radical stances taken by Biden in order to paint a holistic picture of the danger that faces the United States if he ascends to the presidency.
ON THE PANDEMIC
“I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m not going to shut down the country. But I am going to shut down the virus,”- Joe Biden.
Despite canned talking points generated by a dedicated focus group, Biden’s stance on how he would respond to the pandemic has been anything but clear. On the few occasions where Biden has been pressed about how he would handle the COVID-19 pandemic, he has made absolutely clear that he would “listen to the scientists”. This answer should satisfy nobody. The Biden campaign has had more than adequate time to consult with scientists involved in pandemic response, read the relevant literature on the coronavirus and examine how different response strategies have worked to combat the virus. If Biden wished to give a clear answer on whether he wants America to return to the nationwide lockdowns of March and April, he would do so instead of relying on some nebulous scientific consensus. The inconvenient reality is that blanket shutdowns have left this country poorer, with aggravated drug abuse and mental health issues. Despite that, lockdowns remain the tool of choice of many in America’s public health establishment. The moment COVID cases or deaths rise marginally during a Biden administration, there is no doubt that America will be returning to a lockdown.
ON ECONOMIC POLICY
“First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts,”- Joe Biden.
Biden, and other elected Democrats, have touted plans to repeal the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with great pride. A cursory examination of the impact such an action would have would strip them of their gusto. President Trump’s tax cuts led to a $2,000 reduction in taxes owed for a typical family of four earning the median family income of $73,000. In addition, a single parent with one child who earned $41,000 a year saw a $1,304 reduction in taxes owed, slashing off a whopping 73 percent of his or her total federal tax obligations. It takes a substantial amount of gall for Biden to proudly proclaim that he would overturn these commendable improvements. At least, to his credit, he makes no bones about wanting to raise taxes for the average American family.
Indeed, as per modeling from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a household with an income of less than $45,600 a year faces a 90 percent probability of paying higher taxes in a Biden administration. On a macroeconomic level, analysis conducted by the non-partisan Tax Foundation estimates that Biden’s tax plan, especially his proposal to raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, would contract US GDP significantly in the long run by 1.47 percent, while also leading to 1.04 percent drop in the prevailing wage rate. Perhaps, most significantly, the model estimates that Biden’s tax plan would lose the United States 517,800 full-time jobs.
ON IMMIGRATION POLICY
“Within 100 days, I’m going to send to the United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people. And all of those so-called DREAMers, those DACA kids, they’re going to be immediately certified to be able to stay in this country and put on a path to citizenship,”- Joe Biden.
During a pandemic that has caused more than 10 million Americans to lose their jobs, Biden is committed to handing out citizenship and, by extension, work authorization to millions of illegal immigrants who have defied American sovereignty. If this is not enough, Biden’s immigration plan also calls for the provision of health care benefits to people in the country illegally, restarting welfare-dependent legal immigration to the US, ending President Trump’s travel ban on nations that sponsor terrorism and providing federal student loans and free community college to DACA recipients. As America’s welfare system teeters towards insolvency serving its own citizens, Biden proposes adding immigrants to those entitled to government outlays. Restarting immigration from state sponsors of terror also makes more susceptible to infiltration by actors who want to harm the United States. Between stretching America’s generous welfare system and reducing barriers to entry for immigrants from state sponsors of terror, Biden’s immigration plan certainly does not put American interests first.
ON ENERGY POLICY
Dana Bash: “Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Just to clarify, would there be any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?”
Biden: “No, we would–we would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either–any fossil fuel.”
In 2015, Harvard Business School estimated the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, sustained 2.7 million jobs in the United States. In that same year, the left-leaning Brookings Institution estimated that fracking led to a net economic benefit of $48 billion for the US economy. Eliminating these jobs and the economic benefits they create could not possibly play well for Biden in energy-producing states such as Texas and Pennsylvania. As a result, his campaign repeatedly denies that Biden ever argued for a ban on fracking despite the fact that there is video evidence to the contrary. A Biden administration will face consistent pressure from environmentalists on the Left to end or severely limit fracking and, given his previous statements on the matter, he may well relent.
In the second presidential debate between President Trump and Biden, the latter articulated a plan to shift the country away from fossil fuels towards an economy powered entirely by renewable energy. Even if one assumes that there is no loss of efficiency while shifting from oil and gas to solar and wind energy, the human costs of such a transition will be crippling. The oil and gas industry supports close to 10 million jobs in the US economy, including over 300,000 in Pennsylvania, and the skills required to work an oil rig do not transfer well to working in a solar park or wind farm. Transitioning to so-called green energy would displace thousands, if not millions of hard-working Americans, potentially plunging them into poverty.
The choice in this election is simple. While there are many other policy issues in which Biden’s policy stances would harm America, his positions on these four issues are especially damaging. His plan to respond to the pandemic would neither stop the spread of the virus nor reduce the economic harm caused by the lockdowns it has caused. His tax policies would leave the average American family poorer while also reducing American productivity and employment. His stance on immigration would permit millions of people in the country illegally to compete with unemployed Americans for jobs and extend public benefits to them. His energy policy runs the risk of pushing millions of Americans into unemployment while robbing America of its energy-independent status. While many voters might be turned off by President Trump’s brash, unconventional style, the destructive policy stances taken by Biden makes those considerations irrelevant. Voters who want to preserve America’s economic and cultural vibrancy have only one choice in this election and should cast their ballots accordingly.