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What would President Biden do?

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, May 4th, 2020 - 59 comments
Categories: climate change, Donald Trump, education, Environment, health, immigration, International, obama, science, tax, tertiary education, uncategorized, us politics, workers' rights - Tags:

With President Trump doing what we all expected, and killing 67,000 people and counting through chronic poor leadership, and utterly ruining the U.S. economy as well, it’s time to look at what policies the alternative candidate has on offer.

Joe Biden has eight years of experience in the White House already. He knows what’s possible, what levers are there to pull, how to win in government, and he knows what he’s going for. Here’s some highlights:

  1. Healthcare

Biden helped President Obama get the Affordable Healthcare Act through, and he’s going to build on it much further. Even as it stood, the Affordable Healthcare Act was the most monumental change to healthcare in the United States since LBJ pushed Medicare and Medicaid through in 1965 – but here’s a critical evaluation of Obama’s effort anyway.

And here’s Trump’s policy leadership on healthcare – heading for 100,000 dead by the end of May through his catastrophic federal health management.

Joe Biden’s plan includes a “public option” that would allow people to buy into a program that would be similar to Medicare He says that under his plan, “If you like your employer-based insurance, you get to keep it.” That nod to employers takes a lot of the sting out of the policy. It will be like Medicare, with primary care covered with no co-payments. I wouldn’t mind a system with no co-payments for New Zealand. Sigh.

His campaign has said it will cost $750 billion over ten years.

I have a sneaking suspicion that after 67,000 dead and rising from a virus, it will not be quite so hard to get serious structural healthcare reforms through a close-to-even Senate this time around.

Here is Joe Biden outlining his massive healthcare proposal on CNN.

  1. Tax

To pay for that healthcare policy, a President Biden would raise income taxes on the wealthiest Americans to 39.6% .That reverses the Republican-led congress tax cuts of 2017 that reduced the tax rate for the rich. Also, those who earn more than $1 million per year will pay 39.6% on capital gains, rather than the current 20%. I haven’t quite figured out how much more they really rich are getting after the massive tax breaks from Trump last week.

Yes, we know that’s where the Republicans are going to slam all Democrat candidates, including Joe Biden.

  1. Climate

Joe Biden has proposed a climate crisis plan that would set the United States on track to eliminate net greenhouse emissions by 2050. Biden’s proposal pulls in big chunks of the progressive Green New Deal, and well beyond the climate goals of President Obama. There’s little doubt the strong activist members of Congress helped push him towards this position, including Congresswoman Ocazio-Cortez.

He would also end fossil fuel subsidies, and a ban on new oil and gas permits on public land. He would re-enter the Paris climate accord that Trump pulled the United States out of. His plan for the climate has a cost of $1.7 trillion in its first 10 years, including $400 billion for research between universities and the private sector. Again, this would get paid for by undoing further tax cuts under Trump.

Also, he’d pay farmers to adopt climate-friendly production techniques and practices.

This is Biden going through the necessity for the policy, and its elements:

In what seems like a million years ago, here’s ex-candidate Democrat Tom Steyer having a crack at Biden on his record in this area:

  1. Immigration

The critical element here is that Biden proposes a pathway for citizenship in the United States for immigrants who didn’t get in there legally. Now, there’s plenty of Senators from border states whose heads would explode on this kind of policy, so it won’t be easy.

As well as rescind the Trump administration “Muslim bans”, restore the naturalisation process for Green Card holders, stop the stupid border wall, and require asylum seekers to be treated humanely, Biden’s main thing is to reinstate the DACA programme. He will be advocating for legislation that creates a clear roadmap to legal status for all unauthorised migrants who register, are up-to-date with their taxes, and have passed a background check.

Just in terms of refugees, he wants to do the sensible thing of investing in Central America to deliver measurable reductions in violence to get to the heart of accelerated migration to the U.S. from central America. It would, of course, take a fair bit for the U.S. to undo the damage that it has caused there in the 1980s. But his plan for central American engagement and investment is pretty extensive.

  1. Education

Joe Biden is on pretty strong policy ground here in no small part because his wife Jill Biden was a longtime high school and community college teacher with a doctorate degree in educational leadership. The American Federation of Teachers always got proper support from Vice President Biden. So what he’s offering is fairly big in two areas.

The first is to triple Title 1 funding for schools that serve low- income areas. That’s code for closing the funding gap between majority white and non-white school districts – and with it teacher salaries in those schools. He’s going for an increase in federal school funding from $15 billion to $45 billion annually. He also wants to ensure that all teacher student loads just get paid off: the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Programme is way too complex to be effective.

Plus, your first two years local college free. Crikey we could do with that here!

  1. Guns

President Biden wants to ban assault rifles.

Also, universal background checks to own a gun.

Even Obama got nowhere near this – with a Senate majority. This will be a steep road to go up, but it’s a good signal that neighbouring Canada is now proposing to ban them completely. Justin Trudeau is certainly going for it while support is high.

A President Biden would also seek to remove the legal protections that prevent gun manufacturers from being held liable for how their products are used.

Way back in 1994, Joe Biden and Senator Dianne Feinstein led the most effective weapons control to date by pushing a law banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for 10 years. The National Rifle Association successfully energised the Republicans to ensure the bans was not continued.

Biden is also going for a national firearms registry. Thankfully Charlton Heston has now passed on before any Presidential candidate tried that one.

  1. Workers

He is putting a fairly strong platform together on protecting and enhancing the rights of workers to unionise, and to enforce their bargaining power. He not only wants to strengthen the Protecting the Right to Organise Act (PRO), but wants much larger penalties on corporations and their executives when they interfere with organizing efforts, including criminal liability.

But he intends to go a lot further by instituting a multi-year bar on all employers who oppose unions. He will also restore the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order which Trump rolled. This also means employers need to show they comply with labour laws when they are evaluated for entrusting with federal contracts. And those federal contracts will only go to those who vow to never run anti-union campaigns, and support their employees with at least a $15 minimum wage, and sustain benefits. I strongly suspect healthcare is going to get levered into that as well.

With so many Republican-held states actively attacking public sector unions and stripping them of rights, Joe Biden proposes a federal guarantee that public sector employees will be able to unionise to bargain for better pay and benefits and conditions.

A few more in as summarised form as possible:

  • Death Penalty: Ban it throughout the country
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences: eliminate them
  • Private prisons: eliminate them
  • Minimum wage: Federal minimum to $15 per hour

Now, there’s plenty more that you can see all spelled out in black and white on his policy site here.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a 2020 Labour campaign site as clear and as practical as this one – and we’ve got a lot less time to go than the U.S. election has.

Debating the alternative America – not just eradicating the Trump family from politics – is where this election needs to go now.

59 comments on “What would President Biden do? ”

  1. Gareth 1

    They should really stop putting that poor confused old man up in front of cameras and make whoever is writing the teleprompter scripts stand in front of them instead.

    I don't have any problems with the policies, but when your guy can't get through a one on one meeting with someone who's only there to endorse him and tell him how great he is, without reading the whole thing from a teleprompter and who, when the teleprompter scrolls to the end, just sits there staring blankly at the camera until his wife pulls him away, it's just sad.

    His VP pick will be the most important decision his team ever makes for him.

    • Phil 1.1

      This is a post about Biden, not Trump.

      • Gareth 1.1.1

        And my comment addressed the post.

        As terrible as Trump is, no one can accuse him of having nothing to say when the teleprompter stops.

        Biden clearly has "cognitive decline" as seems to be the polite phrase. I've watched him live, and it's an embarrassment that his handlers are pretending everything's fine. Some of the reactions from people on the calls with him would have been hilarious if it weren't so cringe-inducing.

        • Dukeofurl 1.1.1.1

          “Are Joe Biden's gaffes related to a lifelong stuttering problem?

          The Democratic presidential candidate’s gaffes may be rooted in a little-understood disability”

          https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/accessibility/471707-how-joe-bidens-gaffes-have-affected-his-campaign-and

          This may provide some answers for you Gareth, thats if you were looking.

          • Gareth 1.1.1.1.1

            If it was just gaffes when there were other areas where he was clearly mentally competent, then sure.

            But it's not being able to speak off the cuff, even for simple "Thanks for your support" calls and long pauses where his teleprompter has stopped and he just doesn't know what to say. Have you seen him speak without a teleprompter once since the debates? It's forgetting the interviewer's name and calling them some other name instead. It's calling Angela Merkel Margaret Thatcher and calling Xi JinPing Den Xiaoping. It's saying he's running for the Senate. It's the weird insults to people who have come to his rally. Seriously, what the hell is a "lying dog-faced pony soldier" and why would you call a woman that?

            Go back and watch videos of Biden from 2012. He speaks without notes, much faster and more confidently. He still misspeaks, but you can clearly understand what he's trying to say. Now he fumbles and shuffles his notes and is lost unless the words are held in front of his face. It's sad that it has to play out on TV for everyone to watch.

            • Dukeofurl 1.1.1.1.1.1

              In addition to periodically stuttering or blocking on certain sounds, he appears to intentionally not stutter by switching to an alternative word—a technique called “circumlocution”—­which can yield mangled syntax. I’ve been following practically everything he’s said for months now, and sometimes what is quickly characterized as a memory lapse is indeed a stutter. As Eric Jackson, the speech pathologist, pointed out to me, during a town hall in August Biden briefly blocked on Obama, before quickly subbing in my boss. The headlines after the event? “Biden Forgets Obama’s Name.”

              The details are covered more in The Atlantic story which the previous link was based on.

              Forgetting Merkels name was likely because as a non english work the pronunciation caught him out, as a VP for 8 years he would know who she was.

    • kiwi 1.2

      hilary for vp then poor old pedophile joe will likely suffer

      a heart attack

  2. Morrissey 2

    poor confused old man just sits there staring blankly at the camera until his wife pulls him away…

    Reagan redux.

  3. Fantastic post, Advantage! It's great to to read a clear and concise summary of Biden's program. Ok, there's nothing we'd consider revolutionary in there, but the USA is more of an evolutionary system anyway.

    It's also going to be hard work getting these policies over the line, however, the balance of power in the House and Senate is likely to head left in November. All House of Rep's seats are up for the vote, and 35 of the 100 Senate seats.

    If Biden is elected, it'll make a huge difference, even if little of this program eventually comes to pass. Just having a rational, predictable leader is going to be a huge help as the USA rebuilds its economy (and possibly slips to 2nd place in world GDP's behind China some time during the next Presidential term).

    • Morrissey 3.1

      … a rational, predictable leader…

      Well, at least he's predictable.

      “I was one of the architects of Plan Colombia,” Biden boasted in a July 5 interview with CNN, referring to the multi-billion dollar U.S. effort to end Colombia’s civil war with a massive surge of support for the country’s military. According to Biden, the plan was a panacea for Colombia’s problems, from “crooked cops” to civil strife.

      But Biden’s plan for Colombia has contributed directly to the country’s transformation into a hyper-militarized bastion of right-wing rule, enhancing the power and presence of the notoriously brutal armed forces while failing miserably in its anti-narcotic and reformist objectives.

      This year alone, more than 50 human rights defenders were killed in Colombia in the first four months of 2019, while coca production is close to record levels. And as Colombian peace activists lamented in interviews with The Grayzone, the U.S. is still in complete control of Bogotá’s failed anti-drug policy, thanks largely to Plan Colombia.

      Biden has also pumped up his role in an initiative called the Alliance for Prosperity, which was applied to the Northern Triangle of Central America. The former vice president was so central to the program’s genesis that it was informally known as “Plan Biden.”

      https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/31/how-joe-biden-fueled-the-latin-american-migration-crisis/

    • Ad 3.2

      There's just a smidgen of a chance that they pick up Maine and Arizona and come back to even in the Senate, with a Democratic Vice President making the deciding vote that tilts to a Democratic majority across all three layers of Federal government.

      Then we would start to see some policy deals done.

      • Andre 3.2.1

        It's currently 47-53 in the Senate. So the Dems need at least two more beyond Maine and Arizona, given that Doug Jones is very unlikely to keep Alabama.

        Fortunately Colorado is very likely for the Dems, especially with Hickenlooper choosing to go for it. Steve Bullock jumping into the race in Montana at least gives them a decent shot at a Dem pickup. North Carolina is definitely a tossup. Iowa, Kansas, Georgia and Texas look like they might be within a good reach.

  4. Morrissey 4

    Mandatory Minimum Sentences: eliminate them. Private prisons: eliminate them.

    Biden is one of the culprits for both of those plagues. Nobody in the U.S. would believe a word of what he says on either issue.

    • Adrian Thornton 4.1

      These guys believe what they are told..shit they even think Biden is lucid because they have been told he is, despite what they can plainly see an hear with their own eyes and ears…it is all very (and I hate to use this term) ..Orwellian.

  5. Wayne 5

    I presumed the item was about how Biden would have handled the current crisis, not about his general platform of policy.

    So what would have been different. I think Joe would have been more disciplined and more reassuring. So these are my most important differences. The first and most important would have have been no mixed messages. The public would have known the rules and would not be encouraged to flout them. The second would have been more generous wage subsidies. The third would have been a more collaborative approach with the Governors. And the fourth would not be trying to deflect blame on everyone else, including China.

    Would that have resulted in fewer deaths? Probably not, or at the most, only on the margins. Not much of what has happened in New York, for instance can be pinned at the door of Trump, not in the sense there would have been fewer deaths.

    However the US would have seemed more of of a Leader in the global fight against the virus.

    • McFlock 5.1

      The distribution of ppe would probably have been more efficient and effective. That would have saved lives.

      Flipside is the maga crowd could be taking shots at police.

    • Macro 5.2

      Would that have resulted in fewer deaths? Probably not, or at the most, only on the margins.

      Such an analysis completely ignores all the previous stupid cost-cutting actions that Trump has overseen in the past 3 and 1/2 years of his administration. A short overview of the matter can be seen here:

      Pandemic brings Trump's war on science to the boil

      Three years of hostility to evidence-based policy have led to a crisis in which the president’s ill-informed, self-serving ‘hunches’ have deadly consequences

      The accusation that in three short years Trump has succeeded in severing historic ties between the US government and science-based decision making is one of the more chilling charges leveled at his presidency. Science has after all been at the core of the American experiment, ever since Franklin Roosevelt created the White House Office of Scientific R&D in 1941.

      In his first set of presidential appointments, Obama brought into his administration five science Nobel prizewinners and 25 members of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. They became known as the “dream team”.

      By contrast, Holdren said, “Trump is the exact opposite. Science has played no role in virtually all the top appointments he has made.”

      The roll call of officials Trump has entrusted with protecting Americans from Covid-19 tells its own story. With no Nobel laureates in sight, Trump relied initially on Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who is a lawyer and former drug company boss; followed by Mike Pence, a career politician and evangelical Christian; and most recently Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, whose expertise lies in real estate.

      Trump’s top team have in turn promoted individuals in their own mold. As Reuters has reported, Azar gave the job of coordinating the fight against coronavirus within HHS, to an individual whose job immediately before joining the Trump administration was as a dog breeder running a small business called Dallas Labradoodles.

      my bold

      In Trump Republicans have found a leader who regards his own innate abilities to divine the truth as superior to evidence-based science. In one of the most telling moments of his daily White House coronavirus briefings, Trump was asked what metrics he would use to decide when Americans could emerge from lockdown.

      He raised his right hand, placed his index finger against his temple, and said: “The metrics right here. That’s my metrics.”

      All the major mistakes that have been made by the Trump administration in handling the pandemic can be ascribed to this failure to listen to, and trust, scientific advice. Trump was slow to mobilise the federal government because he failed to heed scientific warnings; instead he chose to follow his “hunch” that a “miracle” would happen and the virus would disappear.

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/03/science-donald-trump-coronavirus

      There is a lot more that can be said on this matter. His canning of the pandemic unit in 2019, the sidelining of the CDC in favour of his "team of 'experts'". His complete disregard for the seriousness of the situation for almost 3 months, He is still unconcerned with the safety of his fellow Americans – his only concern at present is the possibility of his success at the polls in November. The disaster of closing the borders at 48 hours notice, and forcing thousands to be herded into airports for hours on end waiting to be processed though border control. That in itself is the primary source of infection in the state of New York. That is just a short list highlighting some of the features that are the tip of the iceberg of the Trump administrations failure in its duty to protect Americans.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        In other words, Trump banned all forms of science – including Climate Change.

        One of the first things Trump did was to close the 'pandemic unit' Obama had been advised to set up in his last term of office, then turned around in just the last couple of weeks and blamed Obama for there being no pandemic unit.

    • Tricledrown 5.3

      Wayne you don't know.Trumps lack of leadership at the early stages especially has cost 10's of thousands of lives then his sabotaging of efforts to contain the out breaks 10's of thousands.The Toll will be closer to 200,000 deaths without the 2nd wave which will happen in the US.

  6. Nic the NZer 6

    It was my understanding that Trump had failed to pass any health care reforms under his presidency and the US was still essentially operating on Obama care era legislation. Is this incorrect?

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Centrists posting on The Standard might get away with toadying up to the likes of Mr Biden by employing that favoured cloaking device–“lesser evil” voting–but as some activists in the US say “Biden can have my vote but not my soul” (or genuine support).

    Thus, the two party dictatorship Americans enjoy is designed to ensure it is never quite “the right time”–Senate and House majorities notwithstanding, for radical change, or progressive platforms.

    Will Americans intending to hold their noses and vote for Biden, as a less worse alternative to you know who, even get to vote though?

    The US November General Elections look a horrific scenario from this distance. Travesties of democracy have riddled the primaries. A complex voting system, bent Electoral College, legalised gerrymandering in various states, outrageous voter suppression measures by State and District, decrepit voting machines, typically less polling stations than required–and now C19 just to top it off. Vote, or risk the virus, is a real dilemma for the vulnerable. Republicans have put various fixes in to forestall needed effective mail in voting at this stage.

    Sometimes you have to charge ahead with a progressive platform despite the odds, history will not view the sell outs in the Democratic ranks from Mr Clyburn on down, kindly if Trump “beats” Biden–yes if you fight you may lose, but if you do not fight you will definitely lose!

    • Adrian Thornton 7.1

      "if you fight you may lose, but if you do not fight you will definitely lose!" +1 there pal!, but as we know these people don't want to fight, they are way more comfortable compromising with the enemy, who of course very rarely reply in kind.

  8. RedLogix 8

    The chronic issue for the left in the USA (and most other places for this matter) is that the electoral alliances they need to hold together are far more fractious and fragile, than the ones on the right.

    The policy outlined above looks like good solid boilerplate Dem policy that in any other developed nation wouldn't attract much controversy. If they get even half of the list in the OP done it would be a major victory and a long overdue update of their political and social landscape. The CV19 crisis may well be the trigger to get the process moving.

    But their alliance contains contradictions; for instance on the economic front what the socialist/greenies want is directly opposed to what the unions want. The intensity of the culture wars alienates important socially conservative groups like the Latino's and Catholics. It an alliance that really only holds together when they have a strong charismatic figurehead, like Clinton or Obama. Biden just doesn't tick that box.

    • aj 8.1

      ……electoral alliances they need to hold together are far more fractious and fragile, than the ones on the right.

      +1

  9. AB 9

    I'd have some doubts on Biden's level of commitment to this programme – and on his leadership ability to get it implemented and his willingness to cut across the economic interests of any of his donors. But whatever – if I was a US citizen and in a swing state I'd vote for Biden. In a non-swing state I might just go fishing instead, or just vote for Democrats down-ballot.

    However, I would respect the 'agency' of anyone who said they couldn't vote for him – for example Chris Hedges (whose eloquent Jeremiads I quite enjoy) says he won't vote for Joe because Hedges teaches in a prison and many of the black young men he teaches are there only because of policies Biden helped put in place years ago. Or any woman who felt that Joe seems only a bit less ‘rapey’ than Trump.

    I see your list has nothing on foreign policy – and I've seen nothing from Biden that suggests he would change the gangster criminality of US behaviour towards places like Venezuela. At least Sanders was starting to move (reluctantly maybe) towards a humane foreign policy after initially focusing on internal matters.

  10. Adrian Thornton 10

    How can anyone seriously think Bisen can have a plan and implement it? FFS! I would take bets that he isn't even allowed to drive.

    Are we all meant to just go along with this weird alternate world of fantasy land and not even acknowledge that Biden is quite clearly suffering from some sort of advanced and serious age related mental decline?

    The DNC and liberal MSM are treating people like fucking morons…distressingly many people seem happy to just be treated that way…like braindead dribbling morons..holy crap.

    BTW here is a real indication of what Bidens people have in store.. ..'Mike Bloomberg at the World Bank, Jamie Dimon senior position at the Treasury'….

    Here's who Joe Biden is reportedly considering for top positions in his administration as he touts a 'Return to Normal' plan

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/who-joe-biden-will-appoint-to-top-cabinet-positions-axios-2020-3?r=US&IR=T

    …not to mention he is an alleged rapist….the good ol’ moderate centrists extremists have really got themselves into a disgusting mess this time….luckily for them, they have already thrown out their morals and any ethical standards they might have had long ago, so I guess it will be an easy choice for them.

    • The Al1en 10.1

      …not to mention he is an alleged rapist….

      Totally devastating and insufferable for a victim, and goes without saying it's obviously very wrong without consent, the alleged fingering isn't a rape, it's a sexual assault.

      • The Al1en 10.1.1

        Withdrawn.

        For 80 years prior to the 2013 change, the UCR’s definition of rape was “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will”

        Rape in the United States is defined by the Department of Justice as "Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_the_United_States

        • Adrian Thornton 10.1.1.1

          Holy shit…did you just say "the alleged fingering isn't a rape, it's a sexual assault" not sure how to reply to that, and I don't need the US dept of Justice to tell me what is right or wrong either.

          As I keep saying you centris have let yourselves go so far down into the dark rabbit hole of an ideology that has no moral or ethical component to it, that you have (or are losing) that thing that is so precious to humans, your own internal sense of moral and ethical balance…surely you shouldn't need to google up that stuff?

          • The Al1en 10.1.1.1.1

            Holy shit…did you just say "the alleged fingering isn't a rape, it's a sexual assault"

            I didn't say it, I wrote it, but yes, based on outdated information, which as you can see, withdrew.

            I don't need the US dept of Justice to tell me what is right or wrong either.

            Neither do I, which is why I prefaced the comment accordingly.

            As I keep saying you centris have let yourselves go so far down into the dark rabbit hole of an ideology that has no moral or ethical component to it, that you have (or are losing) that thing that is so precious to humans, your own internal sense of moral and ethical balance

            I'm not a centris (sic), but then again I'm also not flailing on the outside, on the edge of the fringe, wondering why it's the rest of the world that are losers.

            surely you shouldn't need to google up that stuff?

            As I wasn't aware of the 2013 change to US law, I'm glad I did check the definition, and saved myself the ignominy of having to retract after a smug 'gotcha'

            • katipo 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Pity the mainstream media and the Democrat machine never addressed this during the Primaries or even gave Biden a similar amount of scrutiny as they did during the the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Not only does it make them seem hypocritical and send the wrong kind of message to possible abuse victims it also makes more difficult for the Disillusioned to differentiate Biden from Trump or to bother to vote.

              • The Al1en

                I don't have a horse (or say) in the democrat race, other than obviously not wanting Trump reelected, but yeah, it does seem like people, the vast majority of dem voters who overwhelmingly backed him, and senior party figures alike, are holding to different standards around the allegation.

                I'm pleased I don't have to vote him to vote out the current president.

    • roblogic 10.2

      OK, but the Trumpian status quo is worse. Zero leadership. Government barely functioning. 65 000 dead and counting from coronavirus. Foreign relations in tatters. USA becoming a global laughing-stock. Armed insurrectionists allowed to parade in the streets.

      • Adrian Thornton 10.2.1

        I hear what you are saying, and agree, in fact I am having this same debate with one of my sons at the moment vis-a-vis climate change/Trump/Biden etc.

        I certainly wouldn't hold against anyone who was going to to vote Biden (talking abstractly here from NZ of course) as the lesser of two evils etc, I personally couldn't do it.

        However at the same time I will not be told that he is any kind of progressive or even that much better than Trump…he is better,sure, but not by much.

        As I have said, my biggest problem is that he is mentally deteriorating in front of our eyes and the liberal media (including RNZ) say nothing and go along with this bizarre charade right out in the open..truly one of the craziest things I have ever witnessed in my life, sometimes I feel like I am watching a movie it is so surreal.

  11. Wayne 11

    Biden won't preside over a radical do over of the US economy or society, so the programme outline above won't happen, at least not in the way suggested. In fact quite a lot of it is beyond his jurisdiction as President. It belongs to the states. He also has to negotiate with Congress.

    I reckon he will be able to do the following;

    1. Healthcare will be an enhanced Obamacare package.

    2. Taxes will be as described with a lower income earner tax reduction.

    3. Climate change will have a bunch of incentives but nothing like the AOC package.

    4. Dreamers only, no general amnesty leading to citizenship

    5. Education will close to what is set out, especially since so many people will be retraining

    6. Gun control will be nothing like described. But there will be more checks and a national or state register.

    7. Workers will get a federal minimum of $15, but there won't be a massive expansion of union power.

    8. Most of the crime stuff belongs to the states

  12. bill 12

    President Joe Biden will cure cancer. Remarkable!

    And yes, he's actually said that. Twice that I've seen.

      • bill 12.1.1

        I've no idea why anyone would think such a ridiculous claim should be subjected to any "fact check". Kinda makes you wonder what the whole "fact check" business is about, aye?

        • Incognito 12.1.1.1

          Some take these claims literally but usually there’s a kernel of truth in there somewhere …

          I actually enjoyed reading that fact-check and I have almost zero interest in the claimants.

          • bill 12.1.1.1.1

            Some take these claims literally but …

            What do you mean 'but'…? Biden said it straight up – that he'd 'cure cancer'. Twice. He's a fucking fool…or reckons everyone else is.

            • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1.1

              No, he said "we're gonna" cure cancer. Very different to "I'm gonna".

              Seems pretty obvious that he thinks it's an achievable goal if they throw money at it, rather than that he'll spend one day a week doing his own oncology research.

              • Dennis Frank

                Funny, eh? A century of throwing zillions of dollars at the cancer industry and he thinks tossing more down the gurgler will actually work.

                Someone ought to sit him down and explain to him in words of one syllable how vested interests operate. A perpetual money supply is the primary requisite. All that takes is a suitable niche within the upper echelons of capitalism. Then you get your pr guys to spin a mythology for public & media consumption: `we're gonna cure cancer'. The suckers will buy the heroic stance forever…

                But of course he already knows that. That’s why he’s running to be their front man.

                • McFlock

                  If you want to look at oncology progress over a century, it's pretty damned spectacular. Firing a few billion more at primary research over the next few years would improve on that.

                  Personally, I'd elevate focus on heart disease and brain disorders (dementia, parkinson's, that sort of thing). But the big C is still a big killer.

                  • gsays

                    Perhaps lift the focus a little higher and rather seek to understand our own immune systems.

                    Autoimmune disorders can reek havoc: diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, M.S. etc.

                    • McFlock

                      also worthy causes.

                      Significantly better than relaxing mercury emissions controls.

                  • Dukeofurl

                    Heart Disease ?

                    Guess who made a big campaign promise about heart disease and fairly soon he broke it.

                    In October, a month after he suffered a heart attack and had two stents inserted, Sen. Bernie Sanders told Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN that he would release his medical records. No ifs, ands, or buts, Sanders stated, “The people do have a right to know about the health of a senator, somebody who’s running for president of the United States—full disclosure.”

                    Bernie is a year older than Joe

                    • McFlock

                      Not entirely sure that's relevant to the concept of increasing funding for medical research.

                  • gsays

                    What are these mercury emissions of which you speak?

                • Incognito

                  I don’t blame you for not reading that factcheck link I provided in my comment @ 12.1.1.1 but until you educate yourself on the topic of cancer and government-funded cancer research your opinion will be largely based on ignorance and not really worth debating IMHO.

  13. millsy 13

    What Biden will do is exactly what happened with Obama.

    1) Biden will sideline most progressives in favour of Clinton/Obama retreads in his administration.

    2) He will end up allowing his opponents to set the agenda and struggle to get even moderate initives through Congress, end up with comprimises that please noone (ie Obamacare).

    3) Because of this, the Democrats will lose both houses in 2022 and Biden will finish his term as a lame duck president.

    4) Fox News will make out like he is a Trotskyite Marxist revolutionary who plans to overthrow the capitalist system, abolish Christmas and make every man transgender.

    5) Trump will effectively position himself as a shadow president and will criss cross the country making speeches attacking Biden.

    6) Trump will end up winning in 2024, and Biden will be the Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century.

    • Koff 13.1

      Do you seriously think that Biden, Trump, or Bernie for that matter, at 80+ would actually be capable of campaigning in 4 years time? At least Bernie probably wouldn't be totally brain dead.

  14. Ken 14

    When the backlash against trump happens – as it surely must……'The medicine might be worse than the cure'…..or something…

    The post-truth era is rapidly becoming the post-making-sense era.

  15. adam 15

    "Debating the alternative America – not just eradicating the Trump family from politics – is where this election needs to go now."

    I agree with you on this point. The obsession with trump has been stupid waste of time and effort.

    But I think progressives will not support this from Biden, it's not enough. He needs to throw them a bone, and he is point blankly refusing to do that. So if he loses it's his fault, because the job of the candidate is to win votes. 2016 should have taught that lesson to people.

  16. Andre 16

    Given the past three years, a potted plant sitting at the Resolute Desk would be a huge relief compared to what's there now. Biden is certainly the candidate to meet that expectation.

    As for what might actually happen, well, things mostly happen when competent Cabinet members are appointed and they do most of the heavy pushing behind the scenes. Biden's performance in the Obama Administration where he actively got involved with the legislators was a bit of a rarity, and it's unlikely he'll be able to repeat that level of involvement again as prez. Not that it actually achieved much after 2010 when the Repugs got the numbers to implement their blanket policy of mindless obstructionism.

    So what actually happens will mostly depend on which cabinet members get hold of him the most to play Weekend At Bernie's with him in service of their priorities.

    Or maybe whomever he chooses for Veep will turn out to be adept at grabbing the reins and steering things according to her priorities.

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