Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden moved further into a general election posture Wednesday in what was billed as a “virtual town hall.”
With COVID-19 and associated effects becoming not just the political story of the year but the century, Biden sought to workshop concerns about the crisis.
But before a soft-touch colloquium, in which he sought to “listen” to people as much as speak, he advanced proposals in step with a sudden enthusiasm among policymakers around the world for redistributive Keynesian solutions to economic problems.
The former Vice President urged using the $2.2 trillion CARES Act money to keep people on payrolls, noting that 10 million Americans have lost their jobs, with more attrition certain.
Biden also noted that states need more help getting relief monies out.
“We need to get those relief checks out to people as quickly as possible,” Biden said, asserting that more money will be needed. “Direct cash relief fast so you can get it.”
Biden wanted a rent freeze, a moratorium on evictions, and unemployment for as long as the coronavirus crisis shall last. As well, “Obamacare” enrollment should open up, he said. And COBRA coverage should be extended.
“The government should pick up the full cost of COBRA premiums right now,” Biden said.
Biden forced Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ concession Wednesday, and his victory lap was a low-key dialogue with voters on YouTube.
Biden hailed Sanders as a “passionate voice for progress,” lauding him for inspiring young supporters and “creating a movement.”
The former Vice President did not mention Sanders’ affinity for Fidel Castro‘s Cuba, a position that proved pivotal in Florida voters overwhelmingly breaking against the Vermont Senator last month.
However, what’s clear from his remarks after eliminating Sanders from the race is that he is willing to tack left in terms of government spending, even beyond solutions that were overwhelmingly approved by bipartisan margins.