“To the victor belong the spoils.” some obscure politician once said when people complained about jobs and perks going to Democrats when Andrew Jackson was elected. The Civil Service Act ended the practice of handing out government jobs to the party that won the election, but Joe Biden is trying to revive it in a different form.
Look carefully at the executive orders Biden is issuing. It’s no accident that subsidies, spending, and incentives are overwhelmingly benefitting blue states and Democratic constituencies.
Meanwhile, the flow of dollars is drying up for red states. After saying he would be president “for all Americans,” Biden is doing a pretty good impersonation of a partisan hack who favors Democrats.
Start with energy. Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline at a cost of 1,000 jobs and diplomatic goodwill with Canada. He banned fracking on federal lands and paused oil and gas lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. According to a White House fact sheet, he told federal agencies to “accelerate clean energy and transmission projects.” He is sure to bestow federal largesse on the sons of Solyndra.
The alternative energy sector overwhelmingly favors Democrats. Its political investments have paid off. The old-style extractive industries, mainly based in GOP strongholds, will suffer. In some cases they are targeted for extinction. The knock-on effects are serious. “Wyoming state superintendent Jillian Balow notes that her state depends on some $150 million a year in oil and gas federal royalties to fund K-12 schools,” says the Wall Street Journal editorial board.
It follows that red-state governors and state legislators don’t believe fossil fuels are tools of the devil and they’ve spent billions of dollars to develop their energy resources. Meanwhile, blue-state leaders are perfectly content to use those resources from fracking and drilling while cutting them off would only be an inconvenience for their citizens. Red states, on the other hand, are decimated.
Then there are the payoffs to special interest groups that supported his campaign.
The second Catholic president has jumpstarted federal funding of Planned Parenthood almost two years after President Trump cut off the nation’s largest abortion provider. Biden also reversed President Trump’s ban on money for “sanctuary cities” that choose not to enforce federal immigration law. That decision will help boost the budgets of progressive municipalities eager to pass off the costs of illegal immigration. Biden’s codification of the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision, which made gender identity protected under civil rights law, and his lifting of the ban on trans soldiers is sure to please a class of donors essential to Democratic Party finances.
Matthew Continetti thinks that Biden wants to make Florida and Texas “more like New York and California.” While the economy is lagging in the northeast, the Republican South is leading the recovery.
My colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, Paul H. Kupiec, calculates that the nationwide $15 minimum wage contained in the American Rescue Plan would “shift business formation, growth, and employment from red states to blue, as the higher minimum wage erodes red states’ labor cost advantage in many job categories.” What’s best for Cuomo, however, is not what’s best for the country.
Shared pain and scarcity is the hallmark of socialist countries. Keep that in mind when Biden and the Democrats swear they aren’t radical socialists hellbent on “transforming America.”