What if Kamala Harris becomes president?
Given the apparent memory problems that Joe Biden has exhibited for months, some believe it appears increasingly likely that, if elected, he might not serve out his term — though he bristles at the question of whether he should take a cognitive test. Still, it seems wise to evaluate his running mate, Kamala Harris, as if she were running for president — her record as a district attorney and as California attorney general, her record as a U.S. senator, and her positions on important issues. How would she lead and direct our nation?
The threshold tax issue is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the tax reform by President Trump and the Republicans that produced great results until COVID-19 decimated the economy. Tax reform brought the lowest jobless rate in 50 years; lower taxes and higher wages for average Americans; the lowest unemployment in history for African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans; increased capital investment throughout our nation; a return of jobs and capital from overseas; and increased economic growth.
Both Biden and Harris have said they would repeal the tax reform bill immediately, if the Democrats win control of the Senate. A repeal would result in increased marginal tax rates for all individual taxpayers, businesses and corporations, and return America to slow or no economic growth, if not a long-term depression. That alone would be the largest tax increase in American history — nearly $4 trillion.
They would increase capital gains taxes, end our efforts to abolish the “death tax,” and add a deadly wealth tax. Even liberal Keynesian economics advises against raising taxes during a recession, unless you want to turn the recession into a depression with double-digit unemployment that lasts more than 10 years.
Is that the real goal of the 2020 Democratic nominees? Are they lying when they say their economic plan is to reduce unemployment, create good jobs and higher wages, and restore economic growth? When has socialism — which appears to have gained a foothold in the Democratic Party — ever done anything like that?
Harris supports raising taxes to pay for “Medicare for All” and was a co-sponsor of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) single-payer plan that would hike taxes for millions of Americans and provide health coverage to illegal aliens. This would be a logical extension of her evolving support for “sanctuary cities” in California, where local officials protect illegal aliens from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. She has compared the tactics of ICE officers to those of the Ku Klux Klan (which ironically began as a Democratic institution).
Harris is an attendant of powerful unions, whose support helped her win the job as California’s top prosecutor in 2010. She has a record of promoting abortion, and as attorney general, reportedly investigated and sued a journalist who exposed the grisly sale of body parts from unborn children. Given the opportunity, she likely would appoint a pro-abortion justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Harris supports the Green New Deal, which, among other things, would foreclose the fossil fuel industry across America. Her support in California for ending natural gas and nuclear generation of electricity in favor of solar and wind has brought the Golden State to dangerously low levels of electricity production in extreme weather and evening hours of darkness. California electricity prices have skyrocketed.
Increased regulation from the Green New Deal would further promote turning the coronavirus recession into another Great Depression, the inevitable result of skyrocketing taxes and regulation. So, is the Democrat Party renouncing blue-collar workers and the working man?
Perhaps the most politically sensitive aspect of Kamala Harris is something over which she has no control: her ancestry. Her father, Donald Harris, a Stanford University economics professor, wrote in 2018 that he descended from Hamilton Brown, founder of Brown’s Town in Jamaica, who owned slaves in 1817, both African and Creole.
If Harris’s ancestry indeed links her to a slave owner, will those who have been protesting American slave owners give her a pass because of her progressive ideological positions? The Democratic Party has expressed its support for Black Lives Matter, and after months of unrest in the streets of many American cities by those who are fighting for racial justice, it would be unusual indeed for the party’s vice presidential nominee to come from a family that owned slaves.
Lew Uhler is founder and chairman of the National Tax Limitation Committee and National Tax Limitation Foundation (NTLF). He collaborated with Ronald Reagan and economist Milton Friedman in California and across the country.
Peter Ferrara is the Dunn Liberty Fellow in Economics at King’s College in New York, and senior policy adviser to NTLF. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as associate deputy U.S. attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.
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