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Joe Biden’s Mask Mandate Is Only The Beginning

I&I Editorial

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

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Well, of course! We peons clearly don’t know enough to come in out of the rain, much less anything about the “important” issues of the day – fracking, vehicle emissions, guns, and all the rest. They’re proposing a nanny state on steroids – maybe it should be called the Big Momma state. The next thing you know, Big Momma will be telling us what we may read, what we may view on TV, what sites we might access on-line. They and their myrmidons obviously know better than we what’s best for us. They seem to view “1984” as a user manual and not a warning. Unfortunately, there are many among us who agree and will happily embrace Big Momma and her anointed.

    None of that should come as any sort of a surprise – the Democrat party has been pushing that same agenda at least since the days of FDR, if not since Wilson’s imposition of the administrative state. You and I and anyone who dares think for himself (themselves?) is denounced as a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal not fit to be part of polite society.

    So, just tug your forelock, bend the knee and do what you’re told.

  • If you value hope and faith, then, you need to decide whether you have the right people ruling you into absolute tyranny, good luck with that!

    • Absolute tyranny? How is it most people can work around various rules, but you suffer absolute tyranny?

  • What may be a good idea becomes a mandate under Democrat control. What may be a bad idea becomes a ban under Democrat control. The common thread is loss of individual choice and individual responsibility. “Free to choose” only applies to killing kids in Democrats’ minds.

  • Just curious-Why has the media in general been relatively quiet on shooting of military helicopter from someone on the ground and the 5 yr old boy got shot while on a mans grass lawn?

    • Sorry, it is what the incidents are: Black Lives that can Kill Matter.

      This is raw unfiltered sociopathy by the Left, people. Tolerate and condone hate and lust for power, well, welcome to the real life Sith!

  • Under Biden we will not longer be the “land of the free and the home of the brave”….that will become the “land of the US Gov mandate and the home of the cowering under your bed”.

  • Command & Control Freaks gotta do what Command & Control Freaks do. It’s who they are, and, after all, they know better than we do what is good for us.

    If being commanded and controlled in your everyday life is appealing to you, The Sick & The Skank D’rat 2020 ticket is for you.

    • Ah, yes, the revisionist history begins.

      Anyway, let’s not forget the dems were all over the conversion of the gate checkers to federal employees so they could bolster their voter ranks. Or 44s backtrack on pulling troops from Astan.

      And that’s just one example, so, please – let it go.

      So, to the article – do you ahve any comment there?

    • The criminal negligence you talk of was Mr. Clinton and his band of miscreants who ignored all the signs leading up to 9/11. Stop with the revisionist history. It was planned well in advance of Bush’s presidency. As far as the new police state, both parties gladly jumped for that one.

  • Yadda yadda, Trump is fun, but he has to go. He’s been like a hit of acid for the American political system, great trip, now enough already. Biden sucks, so we just get back to business as liberal usual. His base can relax, we won’t be rid of Trump just because he leaves the White House, he’ll be selling steaks, golf etc. not to worry.

  • The author sneers at Biden for wanting to abolish the death penalty. Apparently “if I cherish freedom” I must support killing people who are already locked up??

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