Model Citizen Steve Levy Politically Neutral

While the media tends to obsess over the presidential election, the control of the Senate will also be a major factor as to the ultimate direction our nation takes over the next several years. 

Former vice-president Joe Biden can win the White House, but his ability to undo all of. the Trump agenda will have very little chance of succeeding if a Republican majority is maintained in the upper chamber. 

Hanging in the balance are issues related to border security, tax increases, healthcare, Covid, crime, gun ownership, and so much more.

Democrats maintained a 53-47 split before the election.  

With a Biden win, the Democrats will need to flip only three seats, since a 50-50 tie can be overcome with the vote of the vice president. 

Joe Biden has said he wants to reverse the Trump tax cuts. If he can’t get a majority in the Senate, Trump’s tax policies remain in effect. 

But Biden would not need the Senate’s cooperation in reversing a number of Trump initiatives that were executed via executive order

For instance, Trump’s deal with Mexico to require all asylum-seekers to submit their applications on the Mexican side of the border sharply curtailed the catch and release process, thereby dramatically reducing the flow of illegal immigration caravans that were flooding over the border.  All it will take is a simple stroke of a pen from a President Biden to reverse that coordinated effort with Mexico.

Biden can also reverse two other Trump orders that had eliminated Obama-Biden policies. The first related to Biden’s signature college campus policy that removed due process for college students accused of sexual assault. Upon a mere allegation, a student could be dragged before a kangaroo court on campus without the ability to defend himself with an attorney to confront his accuser. 

Despite numerous courts reversing the punitive decisions of these college tribunals, and despite himself demanding due process when he was accused of sexual assault, Biden has maintained that he will reinstate this policy on campuses. He doesn’t need Senate control to do so.

Trump also recently ended the Obama-Biden policy of racial sensitivity training taking place in various federal agencies. These indoctrinating seminars have a whiff of Maoist cultural revolution tactics. Employees were segregated by race, with white employees being instructed to repent for their sins and to write letters of apology to their female and minority colleagues. Trump ended it, Biden will bring it back.

If the Democrats wind up getting control of the Senate, it is quite possible their first call to action will be the elimination of the filibuster, which requires a 60 vote majority to pass most bills in that body.  It only takes 51 votes to change the Senate rules. Once that’s in place, the new majority, in conjunction with the Democratic House and president, could quickly provide amnesty for up to 20 million illegal aliens, pack the Supreme Court with additional justices, and push for statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington DC. The latter would provide four additional Democratic senators, which would create a Democratic monopoly in the chamber for the next generation – and perhaps beyond. 

Fracking, which has lowered energy prices and America’s carbon footprint, while enhancing our energy independence, will be in the crosshairs. Solar and wind will be prioritized, but it’s hard to see that how these already subsidized industries, which provide only 3% of the nation’s energy, will somehow be able to feed our nation’s huge energy demand. California, which is going down this route in rejecting oil and natural gas, has energy prices that are 60% higher than the rest of the nation, not to mention the fact that their energy output is so weak they had rolling blackouts this summer.

But the issue most connected to the control of the Senate is that of taxation and the economy. The behavior of investors will be impacted dramatically by the plans suggested by the Democratic platform.

Common business investments may soon be accompanied with a doubling of the capital gains tax – from 20% to almost 40%. 

Inheriting your childhood house from your parents will no longer be shielded from capital gains taxes. 

Like kind 1031 exchanges, which allow you to forestall payment on capital gains when selling one business property while buying another, may also be eliminated.  

America’s corporate tax, which was once one of the highest in the world and subsequently lowered by the Trump administration to 21%, may be hiked to 28%. Many credit that tax cut for bringing back manufacturing investment into the US, thereby creating record job numbers and fostering the first wage growth above 3% in over a decade. 

It is unlikely any of these items will make it past committee in a Republican Senate.

As important as the Senate is, however, the presidency is still the main prize, and that’s because of the enormous power of the executive branch. 

As Obama noted, even when the Senate went to the Republicans, he still had a phone and a pen. 

Even though many of his executive orders were challenged in court and may still be struck down, including his amnesty for illegal immigrants under 30, he has won the day by having them implemented for the last half decade. 

But most importantly, an executive controls the staffing of the departments. Myriad regulations flow from the heads of these departments. People’s everyday lives may be impacted far more by these unknown bureaucrats that are appointed by the president than they will by many laws that Congress may pass.  

By the time this article hits, we probably still won’t know who’s won the presidency or the Senate. 

Unless Trump wins reelection and the Republicans maintain control of the Senate, we will see some significant changes in the upcoming years.  How much change depends on who holds control of each chamber.

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