Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden
While the coronavirus pandemic has impacted our way of life, it is thankfully still true that no one U.S. senator can make law in America. Most legislation, as infrequent as it occurs these days, is still the result of arduous negotiation and steadfast determination.
But what if, for the moment, we consider what the world might look like if the vote of one senator prevailed above all others and he or she was able to single-handedly decide the direction of our country (a little “Twilight Zone” music here).
Since Joe Biden is the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party and would have an outsized influence on what policies do prevail, it is worth looking at his 35-year history in the U.S. Senate, before he became Barack Obama’s vice president, to see where this country would be if we lived in America according to Joe Biden.
First and foremost, America under President Reagan’s leadership may not have broken the back of the Soviet Union as decisively. According to the ratings of the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF), a group I chair, then-Sen. Biden (D-Del.) opposed the major backbone of Reagan’s defense buildup. In 1984 and again in 1987 and 1989 — and every year from 1993 through 1998 — Biden voted against funding for almost every single missile defense program. But he did not stop there. He consistently voted to cut defense and specific funding for the Trident missile (1973, his first year in the Senate), Titan missiles (1982), cruise missiles (1983), MX missiles (1984) and … well, you get the picture.
So, while presidential campaign rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was correct in saying that Biden voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq in 2003, folks may have gotten the impression that Biden was some kind of defense hawk. But you can see that’s far from the truth.
Secondly, it wasn’t just the former Soviet Union that Biden apparently did not view as a threat but also the Chinese government. It was just weeks ago (May 2) when Biden said: “China is going to eat our lunch? C’mon, man …You know, they’re not bad folks.”
“Not bad folks?” Tell that to the millions of ethnic Muslims and Tibetans who have been ethnically cleansed by China’s government, or the religious faithful who have been silenced and seen religious images in their places of worship replaced with the visage of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Biden’s America also would be one where we still would be beholden to OPEC’s decisions on oil production and would have missed the energy boom of modern U.S. production of fossil fuels. Before the reforms led by President Reagan, government attempts to decide on the allocation of both of these goods had led to gas rationing and long lines at the pump. (The federal government literally mandated when you could fill up your tank.) Biden saw fit to maintain government-mandated scarcity and voted to overrule Reagan’s deregulation orders which, in reality, helped reduce energy prices for Americans. While Biden’s preference for government control was insufficient to stop the advancement of America’s energy independence in the 1980s, the fervor for socialism among today’s congressional Democrats would provide Biden ample opportunity to re-seize control.
Thirdly, Biden’s America would not cut taxes or index the tax code for inflation, which has saved millions of middle-class taxpayers from being taxed at the top brackets. According to the ACUF ratings, Biden’s opposition to cutting taxes was monolithic, save for a single outlying vote: He made an exception in 1996 to help Bill Clinton’s reelection as president.
Fourthly, America remade in Biden’s image would lack medical savings accounts that allow the self-employed to save funds for medical expenses, tax-free. Although educational savings accounts are okay with Mr. Biden, the same program to help those who have a hard time with health insurance is a “no-no.”
The fifth and final demonstration is Biden’s approach to legal abortion. Even his top cheerleader, the New York Times, has said, “his back and forth over abortion (has) become a hallmark of his political career.”
A politician who touted his Catholicism, especially early in his career, Biden in 1982 voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to allow individual states to overturn the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that prevented the states from making abortion illegal. Biden called it “the single most difficult vote I’ve cast as a U.S. senator.” It never passed the Senate and, in the following year when the vote came up again, Biden flipped his position and voted against it.
I guess it was too “difficult” to defend the right of his constituents in Delaware to define their own abortion regulations.
How about federal funding of abortion? For his entire Senate career, he supported what became known as the Hyde Amendment, named for Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), a staunch pro-life advocate. A rider attached to every congressional appropriations bill, it prevented taxpayer funds from being used to perform almost all abortions. This position was tossed over the side when Biden started campaigning for president in 2019, saying, in reversing his long-held support for Hyde, that he made “no apologies for the last position.”
The only thing consistent about Joe Biden and the rights of the unborn is that his flip-flops always end with a more extreme pro-abortion position.
Now, he even believes that parishioners of the Catholic Church to which he belongs must pick up the abortion tabs for pro-choice America. And to that, the congregation said: “C’mon, man.”
Matt Schlapp is chairman of the American Conservative Union and CPAC. He was the White House political director to former President George W. Bush. Follow him on Twitter @mschlapp.
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