EDITORIAL: Promises: A look at party platform Biden, Harris to promote

All those who run for president are ambitious, driven and confident. Otherwise our top executives have had varied personalities.

Donald Trump, for example, has a strong personality whose party follows wherever he leads. Joe Biden, on the other hand, has always been a party loyalist. Although he stated his personal goals during the primary season, Biden likely will accede to the positions the Democratic National Convention set down during the past week’s session.

So what is the party platform on key issues, that Biden will be expected to defend and pursue?

In many ways party leaders decided to play it safe; despite popular calls from many in their party, they avoided many issues that would provide fodder for opponents to attack them. There are no calls to defund police or abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement. There is no free college or Medicaid for all and it would ease penalties for marijuana possession but does not call for legalization.

Here are some things that made the 92-page list:

>> A $15 minimum wage. This has been promoted for years but not enacted. Economists agree that raising the wage would also raise inflation, which will cancel out any benefit.

>> Universal, free COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines. The millions of tests would cost billions of dollars in test kits and the wages of those who will administer the tests and analyze and dispense the results. A voucher system to pay doctors for treating patients could work, or it could suffer the same results as Medicaid and veterans’ programs that has seen doctors opt out due to red tape and late payments. The platform also seeks to reinstate some provisions of the Affordable Care Act that President Trump has eliminated.

>> Complete elimination of carbon pollution from the nation’s energy plants by 2035: While many advances have been made toward this goal, we don’t yet have the technology to completely replace all the country’s fuel-burning power plants, razing them and rebuilding “green” generators will cost untold trillions of dollars and take much more than 15 years.

>> It doesn’t promise free college for all, but would waive tuition for students whose families earn less than $125,000 a year. Despite those waivers, university expenses and salaries still have to be paid; this goal would require hefty tax increases for all, whether or not they have children or grandchildren who will benefit from the waivers.

>> End wars in the Middle East: Candidates have been promising this for decades; we hope someday it actually will happen.

>> Reform immigration and build a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. This also is a perpetual promise. Neither party, however, has offered legislation to further the goal; this has led to recent controversial executive orders regarding the issuance of visas, rejection of refugees and treatment of detainees. We’ll believe it when it happens.

No administration has followed through on all platform measures, but the document offers an idea of what we might expect from a Biden administration. While many voters say they support the Democratic Party candidate simply because he isn’t Trump, voters should have an idea of what they might expect if their wish comes true.

Official Democratic Party platform: