During his address to Congress Wednesday, President Joe Biden made a statement that was immediately acknowledged by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as alarmingly radical.
"We the People is the government," the leader of the Republic told the legislative branch of government and the American people, signaling an intent to embrace the notion that the federal government should become a much more dominant cultural and economic force in American’s lives because it is what they are -- the people.
Cruz took to Twitter and responded:
“No Joe, you seriously misunderstand the Constitution,” the Senator wrote. “’We the People’ is not the government. ‘We the People’ is the people who are in charge of the government, whose liberty Biden is stripping away.”
Putting aside the intellectual and historical problems with Biden’s statement, his conflation of the act of governance with individual choice also revealed something else about the current progressive wing of the Democrat party, led by Joe Biden: they value expanding centralized government control over nurturing a healthy economy that advantages the very people they claim to identify with.
Just ask small business owners, who had benefited greatly under the Trump era tax cuts and who are facing uncertain futures as Biden prepares to increase taxes and profligately spend.
Members of The Job Creators Network (JCN), a small business coalition that had celebrated the Trump tax cuts, are now lamenting what they see as plans to implement a general war on small businesses in the Biden agenda.
Steve Moore, a renowned conservative economist and co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, characterizes the attempt to prolong business closures related to the pandemic, the threats to raise the minimum wage, and the introduction of new and higher taxes as evidence of a direct attack on American small businesses.
“The challenge of the minimum wage increase will very much hurt small businesses…especially in low cost of living states in the south and some of the mountain regions,” Moore recently said on a call with the press. “I do believe there is a war on small business in the Biden agenda. I can’t think of a single initiative that Biden has either proposed or put into law that will help small businesses.”
John Motta, Chairman of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations and proprietor of 32 Dunkin’ Donut shops in the Northeast, says he has difficulty respecting policy makers that have little real-world understanding of how small businesses work and what they provide to the economy.
And, he says, while one pandemic ends, another is just beginning; one brought on by pandemic rescue plans that have essentially promised to pay workers more to stay home than they would make in entry-level positions.
“I call it the pandemic of 2021,” Motta says. “It’s a lack of people [seeking work]. There is just no one out there…it’s a huge crisis.”
Republican legislators are similarly concerned, sharply criticizing the Biden tax-and-spend plan as little more than a socialist-adjacent, wealth redistribution scheme.
“President Biden abandoned his promise to govern with bipartisanship on day one and has committed to implementing a far-left, socialist agenda,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in the statementThursday. “This bait-and-switch hasn’t gone unnoticed by the American public, with 60 percent recently reporting that they want Biden to stick to his promise of working with Republicans to get things done.”
According toThe Epoch Times, McCarthy was referring to this recent ABC-Washington Post poll “that found 60 percent of Americans said Biden should try to get Republican buy-in on his proposals by making major changes to them.”
That buy-in doesn’t seem likely to come, at least not from small business owners like Nicole Wolter, President & CEO of HM Manufacturing in Illinois. Wolter says she had been able to offer community members good paying jobs, paid internships, and resources like donations to local schools because the Trump era tax cuts had freed her up to so. Now, she says, the prospect of Biden’s new taxes has her preparing to tuck in, save money, and reduce employment.
“It’s going to cut down on me being able to employ people because I have to stay competitive,” Wolter says. “In terms of manufacturing, it’s going to make [the United States] uncompetitive on a global scale…and you’re going to see the offshoring all over again.”
Sarah Lee is a freelance writer and policy wonk living and working in Washington, DC.