OPINION | EDITORIAL: Clear enough speech – Arkansas Online – Arkansas Online

“The American Jobs Plan will put engineers and construction workers to work building more energy-efficient buildings and homes. Electrical workers installing 500,000 charging stations along our highways. Farmers planting cover crops, so they can reduce carbon dioxide in the air and get paid for doing it.”

That is a paragraph from Wednesday night’s speech by President Joe Biden, who made an appearance in his old stomping grounds in Congress, 99 days after taking office. (His team couldn’t wait until 100 days, because it would have been an embarrassment to have the NFL Draft get 10 times the audience on Thursday night.)

That last sentence says so much about the president’s plans, his proposals, and his very clear thought. Who said Joe Biden can’t put things plain? He certainly did Wednesday night. Over and over again.

Farmers can plant cover crops, so they can reduce carbon in the air–and get paid for doing it.

Cover crops, according to reports, are plants that cover the soil and aren’t harvested for food, feed or fabric. Some farmers, no telling how many, will be asked to plant cover crops, let the pasture lie fallow, no telling how long, and the government will pay the farmers for their work. Or lack of work. Neat.

Nothing will be sold at the farmer’s market, or any market. Nothing is expected in terms of production. But the government will still print enough money to send to the land owners. And the cost to taxpayers can be passed down to our children and grandchildren.

This sums up the Biden administration’s grand scheme to tax, spend, and centrally plan our way to prosperity.

Mercy.

If the nation had an endless supply of money and could put every line item on the credit card with no future consequences, and somehow nobody would ever have to pay back all the spending, and foreign countries, sometimes bad actors, didn’t have a large chunk of that debt, then Joe Biden’s speech would have been just the ticket.

“The American Jobs Plan will create millions of good paying jobs–jobs Americans can raise their families on. And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: ‘Buy American.’ American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America that create American jobs. The way it should be.”

The way it should be: The government creates jobs by spending trillions of dollars. Americans go to work at those jobs. And other Americans buy the products their fellow Americans create at government-created jobs. Why haven’t we been doing that all along?

“The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America. And it recognizes something I’ve always said. Wall Street didn’t build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions built the middle class. And that’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act–the PRO Act–and send it to my desk to support the right to unionize.”

During the campaign, Joe Biden promised to be the most pro-union president the nation has ever seen. Which explains his infatuation with the PRO Act. This act, if passed into law, would end the right-to-work laws in the majority of states (27 in all, including Arkansas) that have them.

Candidate Joe Biden owed his nomination to his union ties, so now President Joe Biden is repaying the debt. Although that might be the only debt he’s worried about.

Another one of the president’s proposals would increase the number of years that Americans are given a free education–well, an education at no cost to them–because K-12 isn’t enough:

“That’s why the American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education for every person in America–starting as early as we can. We add two years of universal high-quality pre-school for every 3- and 4-year-old in America. The research shows that when a young child goes to school–not day care–they are far more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college. And then we add two years of free community college. And we will increase Pell Grants and investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, tribal colleges, and minority-serving institutions.”

And just put the cost on the credit card.

“[T]he American Families plan will provide access to quality, affordable child care. We guarantee that low- to middle-income families will pay no more than 7 percent of their income for high-quality care for children up to the age of 5. The most hard-pressed working families won’t have to spend a dime.”

And just put the cost on the credit card.

Thousands of miles of new transmission lines. Replace every lead pipe in the nation. Connect every American with high-speed Internet access. Half a million charging stations along the highways for electric cars. Twelve weeks of paid family leave. Oh, yeah, and real infrastructure like roads and bridges got a brief mention.

And just put the cost on the credit card.

Well, most of the cost.

There are new taxes a-coming in the Biden plan(s). For all the president’s talk about not increasing the debt, nobody really believes that. Bloomberg reported last month that the administration’s tax proposals would raise just over $2 trillion in new money–over the next decade. That $2 trillion won’t pay for half of the new spending this administration plans for this year alone.

So get ready for either massive debt increases or massive taxes. Which would suit you more?

“I will not impose any tax increases on people making less than $400,000 a year,” the president said, winding up the giveaway part of his speech. “It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans to pay their fair share. Just pay their fair share.”

Taxfoundation.org, in its 2020 Federal Income Tax Update, says the top 1 percent of the most wealthy Americans already pay more than the bottom 90 percent. And the average individual income tax rate was six times higher than the bottom 50 percent. If the president really wanted the top 1 percent to pay “their fair share” then government revenue would shrink by a boatload.

But that might have been the only unclear message of the night. Everything else was given to the people straight up–no ice, no cola, no water. And it didn’t go down smoothly.

Joe Biden has said he wants to take this country in a new direction.

If everything he proposes becomes law, that is almost certain to happen.

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