At a briefing on Thursday, Joe Biden called for a nationwide mask-wearing mandate “for the next three months at a minimum.” Never mind that such a federal mandate is likely unconstitutional, this is just one of a multitude of areas where Biden, and his running mate Kamala Harris, want to impose the federal government on even the most mundane of actions by Americans.
It is surely worth noting, especially by those who claim to value liberty, that Biden and Harris eagerly desire to take much of it away, always in the name of some greater good. Indeed, over the course of their campaigns, the two have proposed either to outlaw or force so many things there’s not enough room to list them all here.
So, as a reader service, we’ve gathered up a sampling of things they say they want to either ban or mandate should they gain access to the White House.
Plastic straws: When Harris was asked at a town hall whether the federal government should ban plastic straws, her answer was, “I think we should, yes.” Biden didn’t go that far, but did say that “I don’t think we should be using plastic straws anymore.”
Plastic bags: Biden did, however, say he favored a ban on plastic grocery bags. “I agree with you, 100%,” Biden told a woman at a campaign stop. “We should not be allowing plastic. What we should do is phasing it out.”
Gas-powered cars: Biden pledges that he will impose fuel economy mandates that will “ensure” 100% electric cars. Harris, meanwhile, was a co-sponsor of The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, which would outlaw the sale of new gas-powered cars starting in 2040.
The death penalty: Biden used to support the death penalty, but flipped so he could appeal to his party’s left wing. Now he says that “Because we can’t ensure that we get these cases right every time, we must eliminate the death penalty.” Many Democratic presidential candidates echoed the same message.
Private prisons: Biden promises to “end the federal government’s use of private prisons,” says his campaign website, “And he will make clear that the federal government should not use private facilities for any detention, including detention of undocumented immigrants.”
New oil and gas leases on federal lands and offshore: In a March debate, Biden promised that if elected there would be “no more drilling on federal lands, no more drilling, including offshore, no ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period, ends, number one.” Later his campaign said he meant only to ban new permits.
Fracking: Biden has tried to straddle the fracking issue, but Harris said during her primary campaign that she supports an outright prohibition. “There is no question I am in favor of banning fracking.”
“Assault” Rifles. Both Biden and Harris promise to ban so-called assault rifles such as the AR-15, but Harris went much further. She promised that if elected she would impose a mandatory buyback program. “We have to work out the details — there are a lot of details — but I do” support a forced buyback, Harris said. “We have to take those guns off the streets.” The Washington Examiner reported last August that Harris was even open to the idea of sending the police into homes to confiscate guns.
Right-to-work laws: In a sop to their union benefactors, both Biden and Harris promise to overturn the right-to-work laws in effect in 28 states. Harris said the president needs “to speak up about the need and the right workers have to be able to organize and fight for their rights … It has to be about banning right-to-work laws”.
Trump from Twitter: Harris pushed Twitter to ban President Donald Trump from Twitter. “Twitter should be held accountable and shut down that site,” Harris said during one of the Democrats’ debates.
Social media hate speech: Harris also wants to ban “hate speech” on social media. ”We will hold social media platforms accountable for the hate infiltrating their platforms because they have a responsibility to help fight against this threat to our democracy,” Harris said during her campaign.
Private health insurance: During the campaign, Harris said she favored a ban on private insurance, then retreated somewhat. The health plan she eventually released would have ended up putting private insurance out of business. Biden says he wants to “build on ObamaCare,” but his “public option” would also result in the eventual destruction of private insurance.
Masks: Biden hasn’t specified how he’d enforce a nationwide a requirement to wear masks, or explained how it could be constitutional. As James Phillips and John Yoo pointed out, “There is nothing that authorizes a President Trump now, or a President Biden tomorrow, to mandate face coverings nationwide via executive power. Congress has not enacted any such law for the president to enforce. Masks do not fall under the president’s power as commander in chief, nor do they plausibly come within any of his other executive authorities, such as granting pardons or nominating officers.”
Government-approved insurance: Biden promises that he will reimpose the hated ObamaCare individual mandate — along with the mandate tax — to buy government-approved insurance.
$15 minimum wage: Biden and Harris both endorse this, despite the adverse impact it will have on jobs.
Equal Pay: “Equal pay for equal work. It’s common sense. It’s also overdue. Let’s close the gap & let’s do it now,” Biden tweeted.
Six months paid parental leave: Harris proposed this during her campaign, saying that “Guaranteeing six months of paid leave will bring us closer to economic justice for workers and ensures newborn children or children who are sick can get the care they need from a parent without thrusting the family into upheaval,”
A third Federal Reserve mandate: Little noticed has been Biden’s promise to add a third mandate to the Federal Reserve’s charter, (which already has one mandate too many). In addition to containing inflation and maximizing employment, Biden would have the central bank “aggressively target persistent racial gaps in job, wages, and wealth.” The Wall Street Journal called it “a promise to politicize the Federal Reserve in a whole new way.”
The bottom line is that if you cherish freedom, you will get a lot less of it in a Biden-Harris administration. However, if you like the federal government bossing you around in every corner of your lives, then they are the candidates for you.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board