During President Biden’s first year in office, all the focus has been on the Democrats as they try to enact the president’s truly beneficial policies. Yet, the mainstream media seems to ignore what they’ve accomplished while harping on their failures to make good on campaign promises. I have written about this recently; but bear with me as I take another shot at it.
Here are some quotes from a Bloomberg article on December 20, where the writers touted Biden’s first year economic performance as “unbeatable.”
“Corporate America is booming because the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccination programs and $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan reduced the jobless rate to 4.2% in November from 6.2% in February, continuing an unprecedented rate of decline during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“[I]nflation adjusted, gross domestic product surged at an average annual rate of 5.03% in each of the first three quarters of 2021 and is poised to expand 5.6% for the year based on the average estimate of more than 80 economists surveyed Bloomberg.”
“Corporate America was never healthier than under Biden in 2021. Efforts to support consumers flowed through to America’s companies, which are enjoying profit margins of around 15%, the widest since 1950, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.”
“Biden is the only president over the past half century with robust increases in non-farm payrolls (4.3%) and manufacturing jobs (2.6%), approaching the gains enjoyed by [President] Carter in general employment (4.6%) and factory workers (3.9%).”
“America’s economy is the envy of the world, looking at the foreign-exchange market. The dollar has strengthened 7.37% this year.”
As 2021 made its exit on Friday, Ben Winck at Business Insider wrote about the 27% surge in the S&P 500 and how that gain “thrashed” almost all Wall Street estimates from a year ago. He noted that JPMorgan’s prediction of a 17% gain at the beginning of 2021was the most bullish for that index but that some estimates were as low as 1.2%. Winch cited the vaccine rollout in early 2021– a Biden administration initiative – as a major factor in fighting the coronavirus, which allowed the economy to reopen.
Amazingly, however, recent polls show that many Americans believe the economy is in terrible shape, which is obviously not true. At the same time, many of these same folks believe Trump’s big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, which is also false. Biden’s accomplishments, the economy and the presidential election aren’t the problem though, what’s fueling the public’s concern is right-wing misinformation. And a lot of this garbage comes from Fox News. I don’t believe opinion anchors at this network care about democracy, the welfare of our citizens or this republic; they and their management are totally focused on making viewers angry at Democrats, which is what boosts their ratings with Trump’s base. But that’s for a future blog.
The economy, however, wasn’t Biden’s only significant 2021 accomplishment. According to a recent MSNBC article, he also got 40 federal judges confirmed. This compares to 19 of Trump’s nominations confirmed in 2017. There are also 31 Biden nominees teed up and ready for confirmation. This is a very big deal that, unfortunately, gets very little attention from the media or the public.
I guess, that since much of what Republicans try to do, slash Medicaid, food stamps, labor laws, bank regulations, gun controls, abortion clinics, etc., isn’t popular with most Americans, they don’t get criticized when they fail. None the less, they have a long history of failures, which I believe are well worth highlighting in comparison to Biden’s performance.
Republicans have continuously promised to reduce the size of government and to cede authority over federal programs to the states. They’ve endlessly harped about balancing the federal budget, often suggesting a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. These are among the most solid, bedrock policies for the GOP, small government, states’ rights and zero federal deficits. Yet, the four Republican presidents since 1981, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump – a total of 24 years in the White House – have totally failed to accomplish any of this. Their major wins, except for Bush I, have been tax cuts, which, of course, ballooned the federal deficits that they claim to hate.
Bush II’s attempt to privatize Social Security – a longtime conservative priority – crashed and burned during his second term, despite the GOP’s sizable majorities in Congress. Trump, who also had a Republican-controlled Congress in 2017 and 2018, promised to repeal Obamacare the minute he took office and he touted infrastructure week until it became a standing joke. Why did he fail? Republicans had no viable plan to replace Obamacare and Trump couldn’t get Republicans to even draft an infrastructure bill.
Perhaps voters have low expectations for Republicans. It goes without saying, however, that if politicians never try to do anything significant – like the Build Back Better Act – they can’t be criticized for failing in the effort.
Obviously, Democrats are attempting to legislate some huge programs with very narrow majorities in both chambers of Congress, perhaps too many. But is that something for which they should be punished? Will voters put Republicans back in power because Democrats tried to do too much and failed on part of it? I sure hope not.
Happy Holidays! I hope you and your families enjoyed a warm and wonderful, virus free holiday season and that your New Year will be uplifting and productive.