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Douglas Andrews / July 10, 2020

Joe Biden’s Me-Too Economic Plan

He’s no Trump, and his dismal record speaks for itself.

When Joe Biden announced on April 3 that he supports President Donald Trump’s travel ban on China, he was two months late and thousands of lives short. This week, the man who first came to Washington in 1973 made another announcement — this time an economic one. And, once again, he’s both late and short — this time by 47 years and tens of millions of jobs.

Biden, as The Wall Street Journal reports, is unveiling a plan “aimed at reviving the U.S. economy with an America-centric approach to job creation and manufacturing, issuing a direct challenge to President Trump as they compete for working-class voters less than four months before the presidential election.”

If by “issuing a direct challenge to” the Journal means “perpetrating a shameless rip-off of,” then yes, Johnny-Come-Lately Joe is challenging President Donald Trump and his long-held “America First” economic platform. But why would Joe Biden want to do this? Jobs and the economy are more squarely on Donald Trump’s turf than nearly any other issue. Indeed, they’re his most powerful argument for reelection. Perhaps the Biden campaign is somehow unaware of its candidate’s weakness in this area, or perhaps it’s beginning to believe all these polls. Or maybe it’s after the low-hanging fruit of the low-information voter. In any case, this is a fight Donald Trump is more than happy to have. The question is, will the mainstream media actually cover it, or will it continue to treat Biden like a Fabergé egg?

“Mr. Biden is poised to unveil his agenda while campaigning in Dunmore, Pa.,” the Journal continued, “where the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will tour a metalworks plant before making his economic pitch to an American public still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.”

It’s true enough that we’re still knee-deep in COVID-19, but imagine the hole we’d be in had Slow Joe been in the Oval Office. When Donald Trump was quickly cutting off travel to and from China, Joe Biden was attacking the president for having done so and appeasing his politically correct base with cries of “xenophobia” and “fear-mongering.”

The Biden economic plan is called “Build Back Better,” which tells us that he needs to fire his branding team. Setting aside how bloodless it sounds compared to, say, “America First,” it’s hard to imagine Biden reading that tongue-twister off the teleprompter, much less saying it unscripted.

The Journal eventually curbs its enthusiasm for the Biden plan long enough to mention “the embrace of economic globalization that had defined the policies of the Obama-Biden administration and two decades of Republican and Democratic presidents who preceded it.” But what about the real legacy of the Obama-Biden years — a legacy characterized by the lowest labor participation rate since the 1970s, the worst recovery since the 1940s, the lowest home ownership rate in 51 years, an additional 13 million Americans on food stamps, and more than 43 million Americans living in poverty? And that was just eight years’ worth of work. Biden, again, has been taking a government paycheck since well before most Americans were born — and he’s racked up an impressive record of economic failure over that span of time. This would include voting for NAFTA, supporting normalization of trade relations with Communist China, and supporting the job-killing Trans Pacific Partnership before Donald Trump took office and rightly nixed it.

Could a Biden economy be all that bad? You betcha. As we noted earlier this week, intelligent folks on the Left and the Right agree that his would be “the most left-wing administration in history — far to the left of Obama.”

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale summed up Scranton Joe’s dismal economic record in a single tweet: “Biden spent his career backing trade deals that crushed American jobs & manufacturing. President Trump cleaned up Biden’s mess, secured #AmericaFirst trade deals, & built the strongest economy in history.”

All that is true. And if Donald Trump can step away from the culture wars long enough, he can start drawing some sharp and compelling contrasts between his economic record and that of his opponent.

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