It is no secret that former Vice President Biden’s staying power if elected President is in question by voters. Amongst media speculation about Biden only serving one term, Senator Kamala Harris’s policy position have come under more intense scrutiny. According to GovWatch, an independent nonpartisan website which tracks federal legislation, Kamala Harris takes the top spot as the most liberal of all 100 U.S. Senators. Let’s take a look at the policies a Harris administration would likely champion given the Senator’s voting record and public policy positions in four key areas: healthcare, climate, taxes, and immigration.
It did not take the mainstream of the Democratic party long to transition from the message of: “Obamacare will solve the country’s healthcare problems” to “Medicare for all is needed to solve our country’s health problems” and in 2017, Harris was one of the first and most popular Senators to sign on to the Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for All” legislation. At AMAC, we often say that “Medicare for all” means quality health care for none. A complete government takeover of healthcare would put enormous financial pressure on the country at a time when Congress should be focused on cutting spending and responsibly reforming entitlements to address our runaway debt. Medicare for All would likely lead to long waiting lines for basic procedures, less health care choices for Americans, and a lower quality of care overall (not to mention the historic tax increase that would be necessary to pay for over $30 trillion in new spending). Anticipating attacks from then Democratic primary candidate Joe Biden before the second Democratic Presidential debate, Senator Harris released her own healthcare plan which was in effect a toned-down Medicare for All plan. “Kamalacare” differed from the Sanders plan in that it phased in the government takeover of healthcare over ten years, still maintained a small role for private insurers, and adjusted how revenue was collected for the plan by not taxing any individuals earning less than $100,000. Senator Harris announced the plan in this Medium essay which at its conclusion now links to Joe Biden’s campaign website, instead of to the actual Harris plan. If Harris becomes President, her past plans and voting record indicate that she would likely break with the Biden plan of protecting Obamacare in favor of pursuing a complete government takeover of healthcare.
Kamala Harris is a cosponsor of the Green New Deal which amounts to a massive and costly restructuring of the entire U.S. economy away from abundant and low-cost fuels to higher cost renewables. In July of 2019, Senator Harris teamed up with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) to coauthor a nearly $10 trillion climate bill called the Climate Equity Act which they announced in this joint press release. In addition to pushing for legislative changes, it is likely the Harris would use the executive branch to hamstring private business in the name of helping the environment. At a White House event promoting the President’s deregulatory successes, our AMAC action team was lucky enough to hear from Arizona rancher Jim Chilton who was forced to battle tooth and nail with the Obama administration over the use of his own land. “The 2015 rules and regulations were overreaching red tape and threatened me and other farmers, ranchers, businessmen, and land owners with the possibility of going to jail and facing huge fines…Thank you, Mr. President” he said with tears in his eyes, “for the Navigable Water Protection Rule that you promulgated. It set us free. The heavy hand of government is no longer on our shoulders.” The recent change in the left’s rhetoric from the term “climate change” to “climate crisis” foretells of what the coming justification could be for a liberal President to use emergency powers in the name of combating climate change. Private businesses, farmers, and ranchers would likely find themselves again in the crosshairs of new executive actions under a Harris administration.
Like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris favors higher taxes to fund a liberal wish list of spending on education, environment, welfare, and social justice, but her proposed tax increases are even more severe than Biden’s. For example, Kamala Harris proposes hiking the corporate tax rate from 21% percent all the way up to 35% versus Biden’s preferred 28% corporate rate. Biden’s tax plan would treat capital gains as ordinary income for filers over $1 million whereas Harris would enact the same policy without a clear exemption for middle class taxpayers’ savings and investments. Senator Harris also goes farther than the Biden campaign in new taxes to pay for healthcare changes, including a proposed 4% “income-based premium” on households making more than $100,000 annually to pay for her version of Medicare for All. Senator Harris’s LIFT the Middle Class Act would create a new refundable tax credit of $3,000 for individuals and $6,000 for joint filers which for many middle class taxpayers functions as a direct subsidy boosting after tax income. Harris’s so called “lift” and overall tax plan comes at a heavy price though, as the Tax Foundation estimates that the Senator’s LIFT Act alone would destroy over 800,000 full time jobs. On the death tax, business taxes, and individual taxes Kamala Harris would aim to collect as much revenue into the government as possible to fund her programs rather than keeping taxes low to help businesses compete and individuals get ahead as President Trump plans to do if reelected in November. If Harris were to assume to presidency, she would likely work with Congress to enact more severe and economically destructive tax hikes than Joe Biden.
Like most Democrats, Senator Harris would reverse many of President Trump’s Executive Actions on immigration, support a large amnesty program for illegal immigrants living and working in the United States, and oppose construction of a southern border wall. Her campaign spokesman said in a statement: “As Senator, Harris is focused on protecting Dreamers, fighting this president’s attempts to build a vanity project on the southern border, exercising more oversight of ICE, reforming our immigration system with a path to citizenship. and reuniting families separated by this administration. Those will be her priorities should she be elected president.” Senator Harris would decriminalize border crossings by undocumented immigrants and provide taxpayer-funded healthcare for those entering the U.S. illegally. Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies has summed up Senator Harris’s immigration positions with this simple statement: “[Harris’s] record on immigration policy is siding with people who are coming into the country illegally and obstructing enforcement of immigration laws that preserve job opportunities for Americans.” As President, Kamala Harris’s past statements and plans show that she would govern to the left of both President Trump and Joe Biden.
As Senator Harris could sit one heart beat away from the Presidency, it is important to be informed of what the Senator is actually proposing and our reading of her proposals tells us that a Harris administration would steer the country even farther left than Joe Biden would. To the Democratic base, having Kamala Harris on the ticket is an implicit promise that the party will continue to move left. To our team at AMAC Action, it means anticipating an even more intense fight for the country’s future under a possible Harris Presidency. Consider how quickly for the Democratic party that Obamacare turned into Medicare for all, student loan reform became forgiving all student loan debt, the wealthy paying their fair share became a 77% top death tax rate, and police reform became abolishing the police and you will start to understand how a transition to a Harris presidency could accelerate all areas of the liberal agenda. At AMAC Action we continue to dig into the details of these proposals to arm you with the facts about what the candidates are proposing.