Earlier this week, Biden released his new climate plan.
The contents aren’t a surprise: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined Biden’s climate policy advisory panel in May, suggesting that Biden was looking to massively increase spending in the name of climate change, if not fully embracing AOC’s Green New Deal and doomsday predictions that we are just a decade away from the world’s end.
Still, the sums involved in Biden’s new economic agenda, “Build Back Better,” are pretty breath-taking: He proposes $2 trillion in spending in the next four years, a big jump from his proposed plan in 2019 which required $1.7 trillion over a decade. Through the “Build Back Better” plan, Biden aims to couple COVID-19 recovery with increased investment in climate change policies.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
The climate plan would attempt to eliminate carbon emissions from the power grid by 2035, put Americans into electric vehicles and zero-emissions mass transit, and rebuild roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The plan would devote spending to minority communities and bolster rules to support unions, which the Biden campaign frames as a way to ensure benefits go first to poor and working-class people and to communities hurt the most by pollution.
And how would this be financed? The article continues:
Biden officials said the program would be paid for with a mix of tax increases on corporations and the wealthy, as well as stimulus spending, likely related to the coronavirus pandemic. A campaign aide said if Mr. Biden is elected president, he would work with Congress to expand stimulus spending that wouldn’t need to be offset by spending cuts.
Much of this, such as eliminating carbon emissions from the power grid, is unrealistic, even if it isn’t surprising; and the economic damage caused by the higher energy costs and massive tax increases would harm everyone, but especially lower-income communities, who Biden claims this approach is supposed to protect.
Mostly, this is a missed opportunity. Investment in clean energy should be a part of America’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and long-term economic agenda. But investment needs to be targeted, supporting the development of promising technologies that can be sustained in the market-economy instead of relying on Soviet-style central planning to dictate America’s future energy mix. That’s a surefire recipe for further stalling out the economy while increasing the cost of living for Americans at a time when many are already struggling to make ends meet.
As for the spending proposed in this new plan, Congress has spent unprecedented amounts of money in stimulus and relief packages during this pandemic. Yes, we are living in unprecedented times, but our national deficit cannot be ignored forever. At some point we will have to reckon with the massive amount of spending during this global crisis.
America has long been a leader in developing new technologies to adapt to the changing needs of our country. We need to continue this by encouraging the development of clean energy technology and other innovations that will not rely on government support but that can be competitive with the more traditional energy sources in our country. Getting the economy back on its feet is central not only to restoring American prosperity, but also to enable the continuation of environmental progress that America has made in recent decades. Too bad, Biden chose to ignore this and embrace the government-knows-best mentality of radical environmentalists, which would tank the economy, and ironically make it harder to invest in cleaner energy in the future.