On Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden laid out a $700 billion plan to “revive” the U.S. economy that he said would implement if he becomes president.
The plan calls for massive government intervention in the economy.
Under the “Buy American” plan, the federal government would spend $400 billion in government purchasing of U.S.-based goods and services and $300 billion in research and development for new technologies and clean-energy initiatives.
He said he would ramp up “Buy American” provisions covering U.S. government spending that, under his platform, would account for a larger part of the U.S. economy. He also said his plan would create five million new jobs in manufacturing and innovation.
“I do not buy for one second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past,” Biden continued.
In a briefing with reporters Wednesday, senior Biden campaign officials also signaled a shift on trade policy, suggesting that even if Trump loses in November, allies shouldn’t expect Washington to return to the embrace more free-market leaning trade that had defined the policies of the Obama-Biden administration and two decades of Republican and Democratic presidents who preceded it.
An adviser said Biden wouldn’t make a priority of entering new free-trade agreements or reviving the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership that President Obama negotiated at the end of his term and that Trump pulled out of at the beginning of his.
Biden won’t consider “entering new trade deals before the work is done at home to make investments in American job creation,” the adviser said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In other words, the plan is a combined mercantilist anti-trade and national industrial policy.
Biden has also previously released a tax plan that would revert the top individual income tax rate for individuals with incomes above $400,000 from 37% under current law to 39.6%. He would also raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, notes The Journal.
Bottom line: A Biden presidency would be a more crony, more interventionist, more protectionist economy than we have seen in decades.
Not that recent presidents, including Trump, haven’t been crony and interventionist. It’s just that under Biden (and the players behind the curtain), the interventions and cronyism will be even more pervasive.