Former two-term Vice President, Joe Biden, is running for president, and hoping his third attempt at the top job succeeds. Currently, he’s the front-runner among a Democratic field of two-dozen candidates. The first time he ran, in 1988, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not even born. Nonetheless, Biden is following her lead with his recent unveiling of a multi-trillion dollar plan to mimic her Green New Deal for America.

Mr. Biden’s Green makeover of American society is comparatively cheap, with cost estimates amounting to $5 trillion, little more than half the price of the plan from Washington State governor and presidential candidate Jay Inslee, who proposed $9 trillion.

Comparing Biden’s plan to a larger pie-in-the-sky proposal obviously doesn’t make it cheap at all. With a national debt of $22 trillion and growing without Green New Deals, and few politicians from either party interested in controlling existing spending, the justification for adding trillions more should be compelling. Alas, Biden’s plan is not at all.

Biden’s copycat Green makeover, like its recent predecessors, is a wish-list of initiatives that are unnecessary, will not impact the trajectory of the earth’s climate, and thus amounts to a colossal waste of money. CFACT’s Paul Driessen details the plan here. In fact, Biden was so quick to copycat other Democratic presidential wannabes, that his staff plagiarized some of it—word for word—from other proposals from interest groups. One would think after 45 years in office, and millions of dollars already raised for his campaign, Biden would try to be somewhat original or thoughtful on the subject.

Assuming, for example, that it were possible to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050, as Biden proposes, no serious or honest scientist can say with any certainty that the climate, temperature or its direction will be demonstrably different than today. Similarly, as carbon emissions have increased in the last forty years, temperatures and climate are not effectively different, certainly from “man-made” causes, when there were lower carbon emissions.

So, we should spend $5 trillion, or $9 trillion in new taxes and debt – for what?

There also is the promise from the former Vice President of ten million new jobs in green industries like renewable energy. What all these new jobs will be doing doesn’t quite add up. Will they be operating wind turbines? Retrofitting buildings and homes for solar power? The only way this could occur on any mass scale is for individuals and business to be mandated—forced—by the government to a major changeover. Such would be costly, disruptive and counterproductive.

The question proponents of these renewable energy schemes ultimately can never answer, assuming a supine mainstream media asks them, is how such renewable sources can replace existing energy so quickly. They cannot, in the near-term or longer-term. Gasoline, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy are what powers our nation and contributes to the expansive middle class today, with an unemployment rate at historic lows, and 1.6 million more jobs available than there are unemployed Americans to fill them. We have centuries’ worth of natural gas and virtually unlimited nuclear energy available, both considered “clean” energies. It makes no sense to try and phase them out, or basically outlaw them for wind and solar.

If one believes the earth’s climate is heating up, which we’ve been told incessantly for the last 30 years, the question still goes to how any Green Deal from Joe Biden, AOC, Beto O’Rourke or Gov. Inslee would prevent it.

Then there is the rest of the world. Outside of Europe, few countries are interested in Green New Deals, especially China and India with large industrial economies. The U.S. alone cannot curb emissions in any meaningful way without the rest of the world. China, Russia, India and developing nations are simply not playing along, even if a President Biden proposes to “rally” them, as his plan mentions.

Another interesting nugget in Biden’s Green plan is that he proposes to finance part of the cost by “rolling back the Trump tax incentives that enrich corporations.” The reference is to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress in December 2017, that lowered the federal corporate income tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, among other changes. Accordingly, Joe Biden would increase the rate back to 35 percent, make American corporations less competitive with other nations, and make them pay more for energy, among other mandates. How such disincentives will create millions of new jobs rather than losing them is a mystery. Besides, the corporate tax cuts amount to less than $1.5 billion cumulatively over ten years – a fraction of the cost of Biden’s plan.

Former Vice President Biden is riding high in presidential polling 17 months ahead of the 2020 election, and he has just “checked the box” with the unveiling of his Green Plan to transform the country. Like many early leaders in the polls, Biden may end up losing the Democratic primaries. No one really knows. One thing for certain: the Democratic nominee, be it Joe Biden or someone else, will put an expensive and disruptive Green transformation of America on the presidential ballot. America will then decide.

Author

  • Peter Murphy, a CFACT analyst, has researched and advocated for a variety of policy issues, including education reform and fiscal policy. He previously wrote and edited The Chalkboard weblog for the New York Charter Schools Association, and has been published in numerous media outlets, including The Hill, New York Post and the Wall Street Journal.