In this era of Covid, media distemper, "calling of lids," Russian collusion, and Ukraine fracking email scandals, it is difficult for more conventional campaign issues to come to the fore in this election. I mean let’s be honest, education spending and infrastructure projects, for example, are not likely to nudge topics like crack-fume-infused laptops off of the front page of news sites.
Granted, while economic policy is not the sexiest of debate topics, it would serve President Trump well to invoke the issue on Thursday in his final debate with Biden. Joe has proposed some rather extreme measures that should send a chill towards anyone who has either experienced prosperity these past few years, or seen their mode of income derailed by the Covid overreaction -- or both.
During their convention the Democrats had a lengthy passage where they focused on the economy. The messaging was all about the American worker and striving to bring jobs back. This was a rather hollow message, however, as it was being delivered by the same party that was stridently keeping states locked down over pandemic concerns. It is a tough sell to claim you are focused on the plight of American workers when Democratic Party governors were in the process of arresting people who tried to go back to work. Joe’s economic policy is no less contradictory.
On his campaign website, Biden has a long document of his economic plan that reads like it was torn from any union membership guidebook. Dubbed "THE BIDEN PLAN FOR STRENGTHENING WORKER ORGANIZING, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, AND UNIONS," it almost reads like a worker’s manifesto. One telling sentence in the midst of this collectivist screed explains it all: "Yet employers steal about $15 billion a year from working people just by paying workers less than the minimum wage."
When your platform is rooted on the concept that a business owner who retains their own money is "stealing" it from employees you have already revealed that the economy is not your focus. Donald Trump would do well to expose Biden’s plan for all the flaws it presents, with three targeted topics.
Before he called a lid on this week Biden was involved in an earnest battle to explain away his proposed tax increases to pay for his various pipe dreams. The president has run ads declaring Biden is hiking rates on most Americans but Joe is battling this back -- with the help of a compliant media -- by insisting that he will not raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000.
The problem: Even as the press struggles to back this claim they give evidence that there will be higher payments for most. Even those nominal brackets that get small increases are going to also feel it as prices rise, and other expenses are called into play. Plus there is the convenient wordplay involved. While Joe is not raising taxes on that sub-400K group he has pledged to repeal the Trump tax cuts. These have been real benefits felt by over 80 percent of Americans. Those cuts led to a number of benefits, from higher paychecks to lowering the unemployment rate, and even had unforeseen results such as lowered utility bills for citizens. So while Joe is not technically raising taxes, he is raising the burden on many workers.
No shock that Joe’s union-driven economic plan is hostile toward businesses. That language of demonizing companies as stealing from the employees is peppered throughout his plan, and the entire goal laid out is rather apparent -- union jobs are more important than driving the economy. Looking past his promise to raise the tax rate on corporations and to close loopholes and other benefits for companies, this proposal completely targets businesses and does so repeatedly in the name of union stewardship.
Collective bargaining is prioritized and there is a lengthy list of penalties, done entirely for the repeated promise to "Check the abuse of corporate power over labor." From top to bottom Biden’s plan continuously mentions how companies will be penalized. He also targets right-to-work states where employees are NOT required to join unions, going so far as to promise to "Ban state laws prohibiting unions from collecting dues or comparable payments from all workers." (Federalism? Who wants that?!)
This entire proposal is pure antagonism towards business interests. Biden’s plan will deliver two results; the taxes, burdens, and penalties will amount to higher prices across industries and it will lead to fewer jobs becoming available. Trump freed up the markets and the economy was booming. Biden is promising to shackle it.
In California last year they passed a new employment law based on state Assembly Bill-5, which was targeting the gig-economy, independent contractors, and freelance workers. The intent of this union-derived bill was to target the workers at Uber, Lyft, and food delivery companies. It was said to be an effort to move these workers to full employment status so they could receive higher salaries and benefits, but what it actually was designed to do was shift these independent workers onto company payrolls so they could in turn become unionized.
It has been a miraculous and predictable disaster in California. Not only did the driveshare shift in jobs not take place (it was actually less cost for Uber and Lyft to shut down in California) but thousands of workers in numerous other industries -- from writers, services, personal care, and dozens of others -- lost their jobs as they were also classified in the same fashion as the gig-economy workers. It has been so bad that since the law took effect in January there have had to be repeated exemptions added to the law so far totaling 109 different categories of workers.
This became so out of control that last month Governor Gavin Newsom had to pass a new emergency law to become immediately effective that had more carve outs and repairs. All this for a law that has harmed workers not helped, and drove out the very businesses it was intended to "correct." It should be repealed entirely as an utter failure, but Joe Biden has a plan to make the AB-5 abomination national law. Following the union guidance Biden declares that contract workers are "misclassified" and puts motivations in place for companies to move the workers onto their payrolls. This will be done in the expected fashion -- through extensive penalties.
Companies that do not abide with the mandate will be hit with legislation that "Makes worker misclassification a substantive violation of law under all federal labor, employment, and tax laws with additional penalties beyond those imposed for other violations." All of this for a work status that employees crave and that makes the companies viable. As all have witnessed in California, it is a solution to a non-problem, and one that leads not to greater benefits for workers but to stark unemployment.
These are the details Joe Biden has spelled out on his own website. He is promising economic trouble for the country, all in the name of union fealty and not workers benefitting. The next couple of weeks would be the time to point out all these issues, which come from Biden himself.