And Here I Had Some Faint Hope for Biden

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Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/11/2020 - 10:03am in

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policy

After the election, Senate minority leader Schumer noted that Biden, using an administrative order, could wipe $50K worth of student debt off every student loan debtor. Coming from someone so senior, this seemed like a serious proposal. It was hard to believe Biden would do something like that (after all, the bankruptcy bill that made discharging student loans in bankruptcy was his baby), BUT he does need a win and Schumer isn’t exactly a radical left-winger.

So I held out some small hope Biden might actually do it; something wide-based which would make a huge difference in people’s lives. Something BIG and GOOD.

But Biden is a means-testing, caviling centrist to his core, apparently unable to even conceive of broad based popular actions:

President-elect Joe Biden affirmed his support for erasing some student debt “immediately.” The provision calls for the federal government to pay off up to $10,000 in private, nonfederal student loans for “economically distressed” borrowers.

Sigh.

This is okayish, and it will help some people, but no one is going to be singing Biden’s praises to the heavens. He was offered an easy win, with party centrist support, and he refused to do it.

It’s good politics, it’s good economics (it frees up a ton of demand), and it’s morally the right thing to do.

(I am fundraising to determine how much I’ll write this year. If you value my writing and want more of it, please consider donating.)

But, and this is important, Biden almost certainly doesn’t believe that. He believes in the sanctity of debts, that the government should knee-break (errr, “enforce”) for private lenders, and that only the most desperate or the richest Americans should get help from the government.

This is how he has acted throughout his career. This is what he thinks is right, and proper, so it is what he is doing. The idea, pushed by many liberals, that he could be pressured to implement or champion left-wing policies once he was elected was always ludicrous. Even more ludicrous were the comparisons with FDR. FDR was already a left-winger when he became President; as governor of New York, he had run the most aggressive relief program in the US.

When FDR said “Make me do it” what he meant was that he already wanted to do it, but needed public pressure and support. It was his way of saying “Make a lot of noise and demands, I want you to.”

Biden doesn’t want to do left wing populism. He never has during his career and he’s not going to change.

Again, that doesn’t mean he won’t be better on some things (Iran, national parks, Covid), just that he’s not going to govern the way progressives want. In Biden’s case, you truly WILL have to make him do things, like gays forced Obama to support them by both donation-striking and getting in his and his wife’s personal space, and making their lives uncomfortable.

Since most progressives aren’t willing to do that (gays remember AIDS and know their rights and power are a matter of life and death), very little will be gotten from Biden that is good. He is going to have a ton of pressure on him from the right, as well, and in his career he has shown much more willingness to give the right what it wants than the left. This, again, is because he actually believes the right is legitimate and that the left isn’t.

It’s going to be a long few years, though, given his frailty, we may wind up talking about President Harris.

Take care of yourselves, and don’t expect big help from the new administration.

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