Biden’s State of the Union Highlights Absurd Reach of Federal Government
President Joe Biden gave his second State of the Union Address last night. It was, above all, a testament to the ridiculous breadth of issues we expect our executive branch to be involved in and the absurd reach of the federal government into all aspects of American life.
Biden delved into everything from the price of insulin to protecting Roe v. Wade, safeguarding kids from social media ads, lowering consumer prices, getting more Americans mental health services, ensuring better patient treatment at nursing homes, raising the minimum wage, subsidizing childcare, stopping drug trafficking, helping young transgender people reach their potential, creating manufacturing jobs, combating cancer, and more. (You can read the whole thing here.)
One of the most notable—and libertarian-friendly—sections of the speech related to COVID-19 and the pandemic, with Biden (in a test of new Democratic messaging on the issue?) promising a return to normalcy. “COVID-19 need no longer control our lives,” he declared, while still touting the efficacy of vaccines, the importance of testing, and the need to stay vigilant about new variants.
“Most Americans in most of the country can now be mask free,” said Biden, pointing to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. He also commented: “Our schools are open. Let’s keep it that way.”
But Biden’s State of the Union hit way too many notes that would’ve been right at home in an address from former President Donald Trump. He called for more police funding, talked about the need to strengthen our southern border, and went on at length about America-first trade policies and buying American.
“This is more a populist than a left-wing speech: trade protection, business subsidies, transfer payments, more money for police, secure the border,” commented Cato Institute’s Executive Vice President David Boaz.
Here’s more State of the Union analysis from Reason writers:
Politician can block people on personal Facebook pages. A federal appeals court ruled that it doesn’t violate the First Amendment for a New Mexico politician to block someone on his personal Facebook page. The case involves Otero County Commissioner (and Cowboys for Trump co-founder) Couy Griffin and whether his personal Facebook page counted as a public forum for free speech purposes.
“Three judges from the appeals court ruled unanimously that plaintiff Jeff Swanson, chairman of the Otero County Democratic Party, failed to show that the law has determined when a personal social media profile becomes a public forum, with 1st Amendment protections,” reports the Associated Press. Swanson had argued that “elected leaders should not be able to shut out the electorate from political conversations on social media,” after being blocked from Griffin’s personal Facebook profile after criticizing the commissioner.
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