In the last week, Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has launched a “Made in America” plan meant to entice blue-collar workers once again to vote Democratic in the November election. According to this plan, if elected, Joe Biden would direct upwards of $700 billion of federal funds into critical research and development programs meant to help the United States leapfrog ahead of strategic rivals like China, as well as to ensure that American workers no longer bear the brunt of the negative impact of the very globalist policies Biden has spent his career championing.
The plan would also make it so all federal government purchases are American-made products whenever possible, thus helping to subsidize American industries in order to meet the government’s needs.
The Biden campaign then followed up with another announcement: if elected, Biden would invest $2 trillion of federal funds into establishing a “Green New Deal.”
The “Made in America” program was likely the product of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) while Biden’s overzealous “Green New Deal” program is essentially identical to the plan floated last year by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
On the surface, Biden’s “Made in America” platform sounds like a pretty good plan, especially to economic nationalists. It’s exactly where the country needs to be headed: near-total self-sufficiency as the world slowly devours itself and countries increasingly distance from each other. It’s good to see both President Trump and Biden arguing for these policies. That is a real shift in the conversation.
Here’s the problem, though: the Biden proposal is not serious.
Fact is, $700 billion is chump change if one expects our country to stay ahead of our Chinese rivals technologically while also rehabilitating the ailing infrastructure needed for mass production of goods here in the United States. In order to accomplish this task, tariffs must be raised to shield America’s key industries. This would require a concerted effort to reinvigorate the national infrastructure also on a level not attempted since Henry Clay’s “American System” in the first half of the 19th century.
For Biden’s “Made in America” plan to work, he would need to oppose mass immigration—which, of course, the former vice president would never do. Recently, he proposed legalizing 11 million people who entered and settled in our country illegally. Open borders coupled with Biden’s love for “free” trade negate any virtues of his “Made in America” platform.
Then there is the $2 trillion boondoggle-in-waiting that is the Green New Deal. First, given the fanaticism of the environmentalists associated with Biden’s campaign, it’s safe to assume $2 trillion is the opening bid in what likely will be an ever-increasing sop for rent-seekers and corrupt leftist politicians. It is merely the scaling up of California politics at the national level. This program would lead to national ruin.
This is not to say that we don’t need to invest in new technology that could provide greater amounts of sustainable energy. We do. And we would need to if only because exotic technology like nuclear fusion reactors is cool. But Ocasio-Cortez and those leftist fanatics who helped her craft Biden’s Green New Deal proposal hate nuclear energy—both the traditional fission-type and the more experimental nuclear fusion-type.
Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow greens prefer the notoriously inefficient terrestrial solar power and wind energy as replacements for fossil fuels. In essence, they’re OK with national rolling blackouts, high energy costs, and completely undependable sources of energy—just like California.
To compound matters, Ocasio-Cortez and her comrades obsess over excessive carbon pollution from U.S. industry. Yet the one technology that would ameliorate the damage that industrial carbon pollution may pose to the environment, carbon capture, is the one bit of new technology that Ocasio-Cortez insists “doesn’t work” (in fact, it does). The Green New Dealers have also called for the reductions of both automobile and airplane use. This $2 trillion waste will shut our country down.
Even more galling, Biden’s greens support punitive tax policies meant to punish ordinary citizens for having the gumption to “pollute” the environment in their daily activities (like contributing to our economy, raising their families, and living their lives). Shame on them. The Left wants to pile on taxes to make the hoi polloi stop living and come to depend on the Big State Leviathan. All the while these Democrat elites assuage their own guilt for conspicuous consumption without actually changing any of their habits at all. That’s the Biden team’s solution.
In fact, with the exception of things like nuclear power, space-based solar energy, and hydroelectricity, there is no “Green New Deal” worthy of our hard-earned tax dollars. The “Made in America” and “Green New Deal” proposals are the Biden campaign’s two biggest policy announcements to date.
And they are utterly unserious.
As I argue in my forthcoming book, Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower, America does need a sweeping investment in research and development to stay ahead of our foes; we must invest in new technology while empowering all American workers. These programs, however, need to be fundamentally pro-growth and pro-capitalism.
The Biden plans do not achieve these goals in any way. His plans will further bankrupt the country without actually achieving anything more than enriching Democrats already drunk withpower. Trump must take the reins on these issues and offer Americans a real deal on energy, technology, workers’ rights, and infrastructure.