Kaufman: Re-regulator in chief

The new administration's main promise is to "re-regulate."

Joe Biden likes to remind people, “I beat the socialist,” but considering how easily influenced the president-elect is by the radicals in his party, it’s of little comfort. This is especially true when the incoming chair of the Senate Budget Committee is the devout socialist he defeated last year.

This dreadful circumstance is another example of why the Georgia runoff losses — resulting in a vacuous authoritarian being the Senate tiebreaker and a man who’s never worked leading fiscal policy — were catastrophic to America.

The New York Times reported last week that Bernie Sanders, like any good leftist, won’t let a crisis go to waste. And his agenda can bypass the threat of a filibuster through budget reconciliation, a tool allowing Congress to move some legislation without gaining 60 votes. Like a typical cultural Marxist, Sanders wants to address “structural problems in American society.”

“I believe that the crisis is of enormous severity and we’ve got to move as rapidly as we can,” the twice-failed presidential candidate said.

Akin to 1930s command-and-control socialism, Sanders also hopes to raise taxes. Raising taxes or the “minimum wage” while millions are jobless and the economy is struggling only delays recovery. After months of being in lockdown, we cannot afford to hurt small businesses and slow the process of getting the country back to work. But the cantankerous senator doesn’t care about freedom and liberty.

Sanders’ first goal — along with Congress’ ongoing impeachment fetish — is another massive stimulus package on the heels of nearly a trillion in spending last month. Free money populists and Democrats may approve, but this is inefficient and future citizens would disapprove.

After Presidents Obama and Trump, however, fiscal restraint and concern over an unsustainable national debt is no longer popular.

Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” was unveiled Thursday in a dark speech, and the latest extravaganza includes $1,400 checks to most Americans; another unemployment supplement; $170 billion more for closed schools; $350 billion to bailout profligate blue states, a business-destroying $15 federal minimum wage and more.

“We have to act and we have to act now,” the president-elect said. “There is no time to wait.”

This sounds more like Bernie’s rhetoric than a unifying leader. And it’s still not enough spending to assuage the far left.

Some experts believe Biden’s overall plan is a liberal wish list; others say it is not well-targeted. Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, now among the most powerful men in America, prefers more income-targeted payouts.

Biden’s team is also readying a tsunami of executive orders to reverse Trump-era policies. Some will be on illegal immigration; others will surround racial grievance, a favorite topic of the left.

If the incoming regime truly wants to help minority communities, get all teachers and students into classrooms for the first time in nearly a year, because truly “there is no time to wait.” Teachers unions have more clout and money than urban poor though, so expect the Biden administration to reinstate Obama’s big labor-friendly policies and crush children’s futures.

The new administration’s main promise is to “re-regulate,” reimposing mandates that will hurt the working class, reward lobbying groups, and deter progress.

The Trump administration wisely pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords. To appease the powerful environmental lobby, Biden long ago pledged America would reenter that flawed agreement.

Obama issued other regressive environmental regulations, including higher fuel-efficiency standards for auto manufacturers; a ban on offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean; and more expensive “energy efficiency” guidelines on items from washing machines to water heaters.

According to a Heritage Foundation study, Federal agencies under Obama issued nearly 23,000 rules in eight years. By the time Trump took office, the bill for all the government’s red tape amounted to over $70 billion a year. Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers issued a 2019 report estimating the deregulatory actions would save the average American household over $3,000 a year when they kicked in.

The outgoing administration was also active in tech. Obama’s cumbersome “net neutrality” rules — allegedly requiring Internet providers to treat all web customers “equally” — got reversed, sparking $3 billion in new investment in Internet networks. Net Neutrality was proven a political hoax.

Many economists believe the economic recovery after the 2008 recession was the weakest rebound in the post–World War II era. Will Biden provide yet another example of how ponderous government regulations curtail growth?