Issues & Insights

Biden’s Stalin-esque 5-Year Plans

I&I Editorial

In 1928, during his first year of what became known as the Stalin era, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin issued his first five-year plan, a centralized economic blueprint that focused on industrialization and collectivism. In 2021, during his first year as president of the United States, Joe Biden introduced a $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan that both the White House and its cheerleaders have called “transformative.”

History tells us Stalin’s plans were transformative, too.

Before we go any further, we state here for the record that Biden is not Stalin. Not even close.

Yet we see policy parallels that should make Americans – at least those who still relish freedom from big government – mighty uncomfortable.

Biden is not unique in pitching an infrastructure plan. Donald Trump had an infrastructure plan. Most politicians, from president to members of the smallest city council in the country, like infrastructure projects. But Biden’s objectives are different. There’s more social engineering than civil engineering in his proposal.

Actually, there’s much more.

Of the $2.3 trillion Biden proposes to spend, only $921 billion would be dedicated to what most agree is infrastructure. As we noted earlier this week, the remainder “would go to pet Democrat projects, payoffs to unions and left-wing groups, squirrelly climate change projects, money for misgoverned and impecunious Blue States, and other waste.”

Others have noticed this, as well. Barron’s believes Biden’s plan “reads like a Rooseveltian blueprint for economic and social engineering.” Fox News’ Tucker Carlson says the spending breakdown of the proposal is “5% on infrastructure, 95% on social engineering.” Former Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue also describes it as “a social engineering bill.”

Changing the behavior of the millions under his boot was as much a goal for Stalin as transforming the Soviet economy.

“The scale of this gigantic act of social engineering” during Stalin’s first five-year plan, “unique in world history, affected more than 100 million people living in villages and on the nomadic steppes,” the Australian Financial Review said in a 2014 article about Princeton University history professor Stephen Kotkin’s research on Stalin.

Others have referenced the “Soviet government’s intentional efforts to restructure Soviet society in a kind of a social engineering experiment,” and “the worst excesses of Communist social engineering” in regard to Stalin’s plans.

Just as the Soviet revolutionaries did, today’s “American” Democrats are trying to corrupt the language for their political benefit, telling the country that the words we’ve understood for so long don’t mean what the dictionaries say they do. For instance, Democratic Sen. Kristen Gillibrand of New York tweeted that “Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.”

The president himself said, as if his office makes him the arbiter of truth and accuracy, that “to automatically say that the only thing that’s infrastructure is a highway, bridge, or whatever, that’s just not rational.” Reminds us far too much of his mendacious comment that the new Georgia election law is “sick.” He uses language as a blunt instrument.

Biden is convinced that it’s his destiny to fundamentally transform the U.S. Unless a nation is failing, suffering internal war, crushed by the weight of dictatorship, or plagued by persistent disorder and depression, those are dangerous thoughts. A free and prosperous nation does not need to be remade. It doesn’t need to be rescued. It requires no secular deliverer. Only those who crave political power, who want to carve a place for themselves in history, believe it’s their task to overhaul a country that isn’t broken.

Nor does America need five-year plans, two-year plans – or central planning of any length. We pray there are enough rational lawmakers in the House or Senate to stop Biden’s plan to obtain a blank check for perpetually expanding government.

— 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.

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  • One of the cardinal characteristics of the woke Biden presidency is the absence of self-reflection and, more to the point, shame. Thus, the president and various administration spokespeople, along with toadies in the media, propagate blatant lies and then wriggle and squirm when called on the carpet for the disinformation. The pyrotechnics of prevarication are loud, the louf aiming to demolish truth by an explosion of incorrect declarations disguised as official pronouncements. Bidenites must believe that the Oval Office imprimatur is sacrosanct, but the American people are every bit as cynical as Beltway actors.

    Many liberals are steadfast for anything Democrats proclaim. Solidarity with those who sneer and jeer, mock, revile and curse Republican thought is part of the card-carrying progressive peloton normative liberals have joined, so hungry are they for simple answers to what are complicated issues. Facts and statistical analysis mean almost nothing in the discussion, and erroneous figures and suppositions decorate Biden’s plan and fortify the false impression that if only iniquitous Republicans would mute and neuter themselves, our society would transform into a multicolored slice of nirvana.This is fiction and it litters our airwaves while deceiving the unwary. It also allows those who know better to sidestep the difficult debates and slip into the comfort of groupthink. The absence of self-reflection means the Biden confessional will remain silent.

  • People who wish to run there own lives stay home and do so.
    Those who wish to run other people lives seek public office
    The left want to run my life in one way
    The far right wants to run my life in another way
    What they have in common is the belief that they are better qualified to run my life than I am
    I DISAGREE

  • The Democrats’ plans are worse than Stalin’s plans in at least one important respect: for all of his monstrous faults, Stalin was at least on what used to be described as the communist right, the faction that believed in industrialization and technical progress. He wanted to forcibly drag the Russian peasantry into a bright new future of abundance and comfort. Because communist economics is insanely stupid, the project was never going to succeed or even come close to rivaling capitalism in the distribution of wealth and pace of improvement of the human condition. By contrast, today’s Democrats are on the communist left, the faction that didn’t get completely discredited with the failure of the Soviet Union. The communist left longs for a return to an imagined pre-industrial paradise—hence, the focus on anti-industrial programs like the green new deal—and no matter what they think, the result is likely to be a neo-feudalism, not generalized prosperity.

    I actually think that the Democratic elite understands the consequences of its programs and just doesn’t care. If the rest of the world slowly starves and dies, as long as the members of the coastal elite get their pristine beaches on the modern equivalent of lordly manors, then they will consider the outcome to be good. What is the green new deal if not Orwell’s perpetual, unwinnable war in “1984,” a war meant to consume human labor to create the poverty and ignorance on which a hierarchical society depends for existence? How else can you explain the way that American elites hobnob with Chinese communists and celebrate their accomplishments and authoritarian rule?

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