I believe in the United States. I want it to succeed. I believe that any issue can be solved if you put effort into it. I considering myself a “patriot”. My ancestors were slaves, we worked this land without respect, my family served in major battles such as World War II and Korea, The Cold War, but also the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts, I served, and I consider myself a proud American. Yet, I am a Leftist (a Sound Money, cautious Keynesian, market democratic socialist – in my head) because based on my patriotism, I side with the working classes. I have no patience for racism or sexism, and I generally want everyone to live a content happy life confident in their identity no matter what race, gender, sexual orientation, sexual assignment, religion or lack thereof, ethnicity, physical ability, etc., they happen to be. I am proud to be “woke” because I see all the criticism against it, and I realize that people are getting in the way of progress because of fear. They fear losing whatever idea of social privileges they think they have, yet elevating others who were pushed to the margins of society is not a threat to anyone and if anything will help to get over the closeted issues that conservatism helps perpetuate since conservatism doesn’t adequately deal with issues, yet, instead it tries to cover them up, e.g., conservatives demonizing gay people thus denying their very being and thus subjecting them danger such as lack of health care access. One can easily say the same thing for minorities such Native Americans who live in rural ghettos or women who have always been second class citizens when relating to the egos of men. I don’t hate conservatives and in many ways I admire the Norman Rockwell-esque iconography of the United States which I grew up in even as a black man, but this country includes other people.
I am happy that Biden is President. I sleep better at night. I function better during the day knowing that there isn’t as much drama as what happened under Trump. Being in my now mid-thirties, an older Millennial, my entire adult life has been defined by drama from 9/11, to the wars in the Middle East, to stock market crashes, to the fall of with in institutions regarding topics such as spying which helped to create a rampant online conspiracy theory culture, to new discussion around race or gender, etc. I am a progressive. I am a Leftist, but I do accept Realpolitik and pragmatism, so Biden despite being the “system” is in theory the best we can have at this point. It’s not necessarily inspiring, but at least
‘There’s a lot of hate of President Biden but considering most of it is the residue of the Qanon MAGA verse but also even from progressives within his own party because he’s not progressive enough. Yet, I see myself as an average American guy, college educated, decent job, a home, and I’m glad Biden is president because I feel like 2016-2020 destroyed the United States. A very depressing time seeing Far Right racist with Russian sympathies be platformed, but also my mind being constantly prodded by the postmodern assault of social media, the news, etc. I see Biden as a boring sense of peace and stability after a time of intense over-thinking, philosophical thinking, adapting to new technology, etc. It’s ok to take a “chill pill”, yet, Biden does need to push forward, i.e., the time IS NOW, to push forward with Green Energy, police reform, reinvigorating the labor movement in a new paradigm of technological innovation (e.g., computer programmers are often not unionized despite working a very stressful job, but there are also people within traditional industries such as manufacturing or production who aren’t unionized despite federal mandated wages not rising since 2008).
Yet, as a former economics student in college in my youth, I do think about macroeconomic policy and the future of the USA. I’m not a doomsday person. I feel that doomsday people often using fear to enrich themselves such as pushing up the price of gold for their own benefit or even pushing crypto-currency. I joke, I am a “fiat bro”, i.e., I do support the “paper money regime” because…this is what runs the global economy. Why would I bet against something I get paid in? Why would I bet against something that the world uses? I find it funny that people who championed gold or silvers, are not crypto advocates but to me digital currency is even worst than paper dollars, i.e., I can’t hold it.
Who will be a strong enough leader to do the right thing? No President be they Democrat or Republican wants to raise taxes to help pay down the national debt. Sometimes in my head I think what if were to implement the “Economic Crucible”? By this I mean higher taxes, higher interest rates, slashing spending, but to cover the harder environment we de-regulate, legalize, and/or privatize certain aspects of the economy? Yet, I am sure this would have dire consequences at this point. However, debt isn’t entirely bad, considering all industrialized nations are in debt and most of these nations are allies who vouch for each other’s debt. It’s not like the US is some weak nation who can’t stand up for itself in the face of creditors and many nations would never even dare to stand up to the United States on debt, e.g., a strong military with global scope, a consumer population who buys goods and services, relative political stability, and safety, etc.
Debt to the average person is bad, i.e., you trying to pay of a credit card (revolving credit), but to a nation it’s not the same thing, because the state is the state, i.e., the state is the law, can use force, and represents the entirety of its citizens. Debt levels may be high, but all other strong nations have a similar situation, yet, no country has the global leadership role that the United States does and many of our allies have consented to the US having such a role of global leadership, i.e., we do the dirty work that other nations don’t want to do, and the US can be the key negotiator between other parties. One could even argue that the ability to rack up large amounts of debt is a special privilege granted to industrialized nations because they have the geo-strategic alliances, assets, core competencies/intellectual property when it comes to producing advanced goods and are the consumer base of the world.
So, I’m not a doomsday person when it comes national debt (I am not a hardcore Austrian economics gold-standard lover or anarcho-capitalist “down with the system” Bitcoin bro), however, to sustain the global economic system between the major powers, one does have to show good faith payments on their debt, and therefore taxes need to go up. Even though all the allies are friends in this debt exchange system that affects foreign exchange rates and trade, there still is a level of mistrust as far as one’s ability to effectively pay their bills. Taxes are needed to reduce the amount of deficit spending already on the books but also show creditors (our allies) that we are willing to do the hard thing to show good faith. Sure, they won’t call our debt, but the ability to make good faith payments with taxes doesn’t help to restore a sense of faith, i.e., it reduces the sweating of our lenders, i.e., bond holders.
Yet, what has Biden does so far?
- Passed a 1.2 trillion Infrastructure Bill where according to Lobosco & Luhby (2021) of CNN, “the bill will deliver $550 billion of new federal investments in America’s infrastructure over five years, touching everything from bridges and roads to the nation’s broadband, water and energy systems. Experts say the money is sorely needed to ensure safe travel, as well as the efficient transport of goods and produce across the country. The nation’s infrastructure system earned a C- score from the American Society of Civil Engineers earlier this year.” Yet, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the package would add $256 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years (Lobosco & Luhby, 2021).
- Passed the 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan
- Will sign the nearly 800 billion annual National Defense Authorization Act funding the military, special forces operations, intelligence, etc.
- Will sign the I Am Venessa Guillen Bill which is a provision in the NDAA which takes sexual assault investigations away from military Chain of Commands, and instead creates a separate investigative board since Chain of Commands such as those at Fort Hood helped bury sexual assault cases.
- With NATO Leadership support, President Biden followed on the Trump Era Doha Agreement between the US and Taliban and withdrew US forces from Afghanistan (Liptak and Sullivan, 2021, CNN). This withdrawal from one perspective was just in that the war in Afghanistan did achieve some things such as helping women, but overall, the war was very costly to US taxpayers considering it was funded on debt as opposed to tax increases, so the war bill will continue to grow with interests’ payments. Yet, one could argue withdrawing from Afghanistan has remove the US from The Grand Chessboard, i.e., the strategic location of Central Asia near Russia, Iran, China, and Pakistan. Therefore in my opinion even liberal outlets decried Biden’s removal of troops, and they used “social justice”, i.e., “tear jerking tactics”, e.g., Vice News showing aggrieved veterans who felt the war wasn’t won or showing the blight of Afghan women, to convince the President to stay in the region, yet, these goals aren’t necessarily from humanitarianism but a way to continue militarism in the region, i.e., funding the military industrial complex and its contractors. One could argue that leaving Afghanistan makes the region more of a security threat to the Russians, Chinese, and Pakistanis, i.e., them focusing on Taliban or their enemies with ISIS in the region will keep them preoccupied. For example, Russia can’t just focus on the Eastern European theater but now must worry about their vast border with Central Asian nations, i.e., this help divert Russian resources away from Eastern Europe and towards Central Asia (where the Russians didn’t have much luck such with the Soviet Afghan War).
- Biden has threatened Russia with sanctions such as sanctions relating to the SWIFT (The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system if Russia continues military action in Ukraine and decides to conduct a second wave of invasions into the country.
- Sources vary but around 65,000 to 70,000 Afghan refugees were brought to the United States. When Joe Biden withdrew from Afghanistan both sides of the political spectrum have Biden criticism, yet surprisingly even certain figures on the political-right tried to use the humanitarian catastrophe card. Yet, according to Hennessey-Fiske (2021), of the LA Times, “Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August, 124,000 people have been evacuated to the U.S., including 67,000 Afghan allies. Of those Afghans, 10,000 have been resettled with the help of nonprofit agencies in communities across the nation, according to the Biden administration.”. Lastly, under the Biden Administration, $6.3 Billion has been allocated to resettlement efforts (Hennessey-Fiske, 2021, LA Times). Yet, according to Caitlin Doornbos (2021) of Military.com, as of December 7, 2021, only 34,000 refugees remained on US bases such as Fort Bliss in Texas, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Camp Atterbury in Indiana, Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, and Fort Pickett and Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.
- Opened Cops Hiring Program (CHP) applications worth ~$139 million to police agencies across the country
- Opened nearly 80k acres of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico
- Yet, Biden has also re-entered the Paris Climate Accord after Trump withdrew from the agreement, largely with Trump feeding off his base’s climate change skepticism, but also his view that the US would fall behind if nations like China or India would continue to use dirty energy. Yet, when you see Biden’s offshore drilling policy, it calls into question his honest intentions around combating climate change and hitting carbon emission reduction targets. According to Matt McGrath (2021) of the BBC, “This new target, possibly for 2030, and President Biden’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, will be the guide rails for the US economy and society for decades to come.”
- Convinced Australia to purchase US submarines as opposed to French submarines
- Extended the moratorium on student loan payments and interests’ payments into spring 2022
- Kept the Trump Era Title 42 health risk loophole to maintain the Stay in Mexico asylum seeking policy, i.e., asylum seekers must claim asylum from their own country or from Mexico (where many Central American refugees travel to)
- Made Juneteenth, i.e., the official day that slavery in the United States ended (not to be confused with the Emancipation Proclamation) a Federal Holiday
What needs to be done?
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Bill needs to be signed considering police are still getting funding, and systemically one could argue the justice system hasn’t reformed much. This bill passing is something that BIPOC peoples but also many white people want, despite the police issue often being framed through a black liberation versus the system framework. Passing the bill, I would argue would help evolve policing and even help police officers, i.e., I see the potential passage of it as continuous improvement, and restoring trust equates to civilians not being so fearful when approached by police. With the First Step Act passed under Trump alongside the hopeful passage of the MORE Act and George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the United States will still have police officers but society will have a more progressive criminal justice system such as people not being arrested for marijuana offenses, people who have used marijuana be given the change to seek better paying employment or military service (helping recruiting), and the public will feel the system actually listens to them.
Biden has been effective but not the most effective, but he’s keeping the lights on, and things are improving slowly. I am trying to write this objectively, i.e., above progressivism and conservatism. In many ways, Biden is quite boring. Yet, Biden is doing what needs to be done in certain regards such as trying to restore faith in alliances that Donald Trump in theory helped to jeopardize such as Biden meeting with NATO leaders, considering the United States doesn’t want to lose a foothold over the historically nationalistic, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual region (remembering WWI, WWII, the Napoleonic Wars, Thirty Years Wars, various wars of successions, etc.) especially as ambitious leaders such as France’s Emmanuel Macon (who isn’t anti-American, but more so, competitive) wants to assert French primacy. The fact that France and Germany can use their economic leverage to balance the West versus Russia increases if NATO fails and this in theory might be great for those who are dovish on foreign policy, yet in theory, a Europe without a strong unified bond with the United States to take the bad publicity for Europe could unleash a chaotic mix of nationalistic sentiments as Europeans don’t see themselves as living in solidarity with mutual interests, but rather might start seeing themselves as competitors where such competition can be easily exploited by emergent or wannabe emergent superpowers such as China and Russia (remembering that China has heavily invested in European infrastructure projects and Russia also has a near monopoly on natural gas pipelines). For example, the Far Right “ethno-nationalist” ideology coming from Kremlin through thinkers such as Aleksandr Dugin, has affect European politics, but the truth is that an “ethno-state” would effectively isolate a nation to be exploited or bribed by a nation such as Russia. In other words, if NATO ever fails, which is what Russia and China wants, sure, this could help Germany or France become the de-facto leaders of the European Union (which in theory they already are, i.e., Germany and France providing most of the bailout money via the European Central Bank during the Greek sovereign debt crisis), yet the erosion of the NATO alliance which does force cooperation between the various ethnic states, could lead to unleashing old-fashioned nationalistic tensions, which could therefore be exploited by the Russian Kremlin’s hope of returning to its former glory days, and potentially in-debt now isolated European states to Chinese financing. In theory if NATO fails, so would the European Unions, and thus the European Central Banks, and this would have major consequences on international financing and markets, e.g., if the Euro Dollar were to go away and nations started adopting their own nationalistic currencies, this could not only make currency conversion/trade more problematic but could also pose a risk for smaller nations would suffer currency short selling by speculators.
Yet, what I wrote above is such a microcosm of the various issues that the United States has to juggle, and I would argue that Biden is helping to catch up on certain domestic needs (like roads), but there was hope he would be more ambitious in his vision to not just catch up but to rocket forward, considering he won off the energy of progressive populism who do want green energy, police reform, women’s rights, the rich paying higher taxes to fund society, etc. Progressives don’t want faux progressivism, such as the military or intelligence community keeping things the same but simply adding “woke recruiting campaigns”, but they want material (real world) change.
Yet, Biden (or, even let’s say a Republican in an alternative universe) has a decent excuse to go at the pace he’s going at because with COVID-19 still railing, Biden does have an excuse to sell moderate temperance to the public. So, considering the situation he’s doing decent, but one can say the opposite, e.g., this dire situation should have been a way to redistribute the wealth/debt of the nation to the working classes instead of focusing on hedge funds like BlackRock, etc. COVID-19 revealed many issues such as a lack of affordable housing, the fact that the US minimum wage hasn’t been raised and adjusted to inflation since 2008 despite an increase the money supply, and that offshoring US labor has made the United States too dependent upon volatile global supply chains.
But objectively, Biden isn’t the worst president, nor is he doing a horrific job. He’s just “business as usual”, yet many might appreciate this “business as usual” because people are burnt out of all the social arguments that occurred under the Trump Era. In theory, Trump going Far Right gave Centrist Democrats a good alibi to not push forward, i.e., Democrats are saying “we might be boring, but at least we’re not as terrifying and paranoid as the conservatism that Trump unleashed”.
Biden is returning a sense of peace and calm on the global stage with our very needed allies who buy our weapons – and, yes, I know this is problematic, but it is a fact of life, yet, our allies grant us access to their airspace/ports, and vouch for our debt, e.g., Japan is one of the largest holders of US Treasuries as they attempt to fund their pension system for their elderly population, but Japan is also geo-strategically important in Pacific, creating a triangle with South Korea and Taiwan/The Philippines near the South China Sea versus China.
Even with the Build, Back, Better Act dead in negotiations, I am not personally stressing over BBB, even though it would have been awesome if it passed. A perk to BBB failing is that we can all agree that Manchin, as well as Sinema, can’t be trusted. Biden is exercising a different managerial approach as compared to Trump. Trump used a micro-manager authoritarian approach to managing power often using Executive Orders to circumvent the legislative process, but Biden is using a traditional balance-of-power approach by following the constitution, i.e., relying on the legislative branch to create laws, the judicial branch to review and approve laws, and the executive branch to sign laws after they garner the required votes in Congress. You can judge Biden on this though. If Trump was a strongman leader, then why doesn’t Biden do the same across the board and not just on COVID-19 mitigation? It’s my opinion that Biden doesn’t want to continue the precedent set by Trump as far as authoritarian rule by the Executive Branch, so he’s being “boring” yet constitutional by relying on the other two branch of government. Yet, this is good, but also gives the administration an excuse to go slow, and this slowness doesn’t equate to progress, and gives an alibi to not fulfill campaign promises.
Yet, despite thinking on the negative, I decided to write out what has been accomplished so far. Even with BBB dead in the water as of 2021, it doesn’t mean something akin to it can’t be passed soon or through other bills or strategies, i.e., breaking up BBB and padding other bills with its provisions. The Democrats, who I support aren’t in a bad situation but are in a vulnerable situation considering 2022 Congressional elections especially those in the Senate are on the horizon. Unless the Democrats get a large majority to sure up power, then they’re left with negotiating or developing different strategies to pass progressive policy. In theory, Biden could use ideas that Steve Bannon on behalf of Trump tried to do but in a progressive way. For example, Bannon if my memory is correct (I’m searching for the article that vividly remember seeing) tried to use the Defense Priority Act to subsidize the coal industry and nuclear energy. So, if this idea was floated, then why use it for green energy, i.e., green energy is a national defense priority?
Yet, despite BBB failing, the United States is and isn’t in as dire of situation, yet President Biden has been doing a decent job of keeping the lights on and signing bills that invest in America’s future. Even as a person who sympathizes with Leftism, I could easily be angry at Biden if I wanted, but I’m already such a skeptic that I figure “eh” at least the lights are on, and the Democrats have power to a degree. Anything is better than conservatism. It sucks it comes down to that, but in the face of 3rd Way corporatism (a type of fascism) there’s not much one can hope for since the ruling classes dictate democracy.
President Biden signed the $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill (11/15/2021) into law and is expected to sign the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which passed the Senate on (12/15/2021) which has a price tag of $778 Billion which is a $23.9 Billion top-line increase from the previous NDAA. So, our roads/bridges/ports/airports/levies and military will be funded. I consider that win. Sure, there’s many pacificist and Leftist decrying the Military Industrial Complex, but every nation needs a military where we like it or not (a sad truth of the human species), and even as a Leftist, I do support the military and American primacy. Sure, I know all about the crimes of the CIA and can still call them out and would pray we could figure out better ways of doing diplomacy besides hardcore covert overthrowing government operations, yet, still I support the troops considering most of the troops are of the proletariat. I can support socialism from a Western and American perspective while still detesting Chinese socialism for example.
We are also still living under the $2.2 Trillion CARE Act (3/27/2020) which was supplemented with the $484 Billion PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) & Health Care Enhancement Act (4/24/2020), and the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021 at $2.3 Trillion (signed on 12/27/20, which merged $900 Billion with a $1.4 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill) which were passed under Donald Trump, yet President Biden supplemented these with a $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan (3/11/2021). Note: An omnibus spending bill is a type of bill in the United States that packages many of the smaller ordinary appropriations bills into one larger single bill that can be passed with only one vote in each house. There are twelve different ordinary appropriations bills that need to be passed each year (one for each appropriations sub-committee) to fund the federal government and avoid a government shutdown.
Yet, the easy simple math I did below:
CARE Act (3/27/2020) – 2,200,000,000,000
PPP HCE Act (4/24/2020) – 484,000,000,000
Consolidated Appropriation Act (Omnibus) (12/27/20) – 2,300,000,000,000
American Rescue Plan (3/11/21) – 1,900,000,000,000
Infrastructure Bill (11/15/2021) – 1,200,000,000,000
2022 NDAA (projected 12/31/2021) – 778,000,000,000
= 7,600,000,000,000 trillion + (484,000,000 + 778,000,000 = 1,262,000,000,000)
= 8,862,000,000,000 in appropriate spending since 3/27/2020, yet, appropriate spending doesn’t mean it will be charged at once, but rather a lot of the money such will be divvied up over fiscal years, and after viewing the National Debt Clock, I’m assuming that all the bills I listed above from the Infrastructure Bill and previous are factored into this national debt number in some way, shape, or form.
Yet, according to National Debt Clock,
$29 Trillion in Debt vs $23 Trillion in GDP vs $4 Trillion in Tax Revenues, and these numbers were pulled on 12/24/21 at 6:25 AM EST, but I’m unsure if the $1.2 Trillion is already factored into this number, but if not then we may be around $30.9 Trillion since the Infrastructure Bill was passed before I checked the Debt Clock. So, roughly we’re at about a $7 Trillion detriment as far as Debt vs GDP, and we’re not nearly paying the amount of money need in taxes at $4 Trillion to really dent the $29 Trillion in debt, or in other words taxes amount to around 13.9% out of the national debt (4/29 * 100). This 13.9% is odd because this means that even though the highest marginal tax rate bracket is 37%, effectively on average, i.e., the average of effective tax rates, is only 13.9%, meaning that someone isn’t pay thing taxes, i.e., even though on paper it says the highest you can pay is 37%, in reality only 13.9% is being paid by all taxpayers (billionaires included), meaning there’s a tax rate detriment of 23.1%. Everyday people, from the lower working classes to the high middle class like a successful business owner might pay the highest 37% rate on all their total earned income, yet, billionaires are likely avoiding so much in taxes that the average of all tax revenue received is 13.9%. If I take the $30.9 Trillion and compare that to the $4 Trillion in taxes raised, it’s even worst at 12.9%.
So, assuming the $8 trillion in bills from the CARE Act to the Infrastructure Bill is factored into the standing $29 Trillion as shown on the Debt Clock, or even assuming they are not thus making the debt 30.9 trillion, the taxes being raised in relation to debt is only 12.9-13.9%, making the tax revenue pulled in fall short of the highest tax rate that can be charged at 37%, thus making a tax revenue detriment in relation to national debt be 23.1-24.1%.
This means that the government is borrowing to cover this spread somehow on top of what it already borrows but is also not effectively taxing those who should be paying at a minimum 37%.
The government has a few options. Better enforcing existing tax laws especially on higher income earners, raising tax rates so you have a better chance of catching tax revenues, and/or revising the tax code. Even if let’s say we add that 23-24% detriment I speak of to the 37% highest tax rate, then we get a 60-61% rate, which interestingly would not be the highest historical marginal tax rate. The harsh truth is…we’ve been slacking on paying taxes collectively in relation to the type of first-world society we live in. We use credit more than taxation. Yet, older generations, whom we consider to be “tougher” actually paid higher taxes and the Golden Era of Democratic Capitalism occurred under higher taxation to pay for society so that future generations wouldn’t incur as much debt, or their money be less valuable. Yet, the Boomer generation once they entered the workforce in the late 70s despite having initially higher taxes, actually ended paying on average lower taxes than their parents and likely even their children who will have to bear the burden of higher taxes (to pay for entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, etc.).
Yet, all this money from these bills…what are the people truly getting from it? The realized impact among the people I would argue is minimal. Sure, some people got COVID relief checks but those checks truly don’t cover the cost of living such as housing or rent, food, gas, education, debt principal or interests, expenses. We’re spending all this money, but the truth is that most is going to large businesses or corporations who win grants, awards, contracts, and direct payments, etc., via contracts by the federal government under the Federal Procurement Data System, Federal Acquisition Regulation, etc.
President Biden has accomplished things by signing legislation into law that gives support to business, individuals, and will help repair/rebuild America’s declining and crumbling infrastructure.
As far as national security, Joe Biden has met with Pacific nations and even snubbed France over a submarine deal between Australia, thus tightening Australia’s bond with the USA via the AUKUS Alliance as China becomes more ambitious regarding Taiwan (a major source of semiconductors), The Belt and Road Project, The South China Sea (the world’s most vital shipping lane), etc. The submarine deal will sell $153 billion and USD $171 billion worth of US military equipment according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) (NDTV.com., 12/15/21).
Also, within the NDAA there is the I am Venessa Guillen Bill, which will take away the military’s authority to prosecute sexual assault and harassment cases and instead, create an independent investigation separate from the chain of command (Grace White, KHOU-11, 12/22/21).
In addition, despite Blue Lives Matter being a Trump adjacent movement, The Department of Justice under President Biden has announced $139 million in grant funding through the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The awards provide direct funding to 183 law enforcement agencies across the nation, allowing those agencies to hire 1,066 additional full-time law enforcement professionals (The Department of Justice, 11/18/21). Further, within the NDAA which is due to be signed soon by President Biden, there still exists the controversial Program 1033 where the military gives surplus military equipment to police agencies. Even, though I support police reform, it is a lie to state that President Biden isn’t funding cops.
Further, according to Annie Nova (2021) of CNBC, “Amid concerns about the new omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus, the Biden administration will extend the payment pause for federal student loan borrowers until May 1.” This extension allows people to stop paying student loan debt without incurring interests.
Biden released 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to auction for drilling, despite him attempting to use an Executive Order to pause drilling, but this pause was blocked in court by 13 oil/natural gas friendly states (Ella Nilsen, CNN, 11/17/21). So, with Biden opening 80 million acres for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, from a progressive perspective this is horrible and a deviation from his campaign promises to help fight Climate Change and start encouraging higher green energy investing, yet, from a conservative or at least let’s say business perspective, opening offshore drilling could help keep energy prices low, and lower energy prices might help to stave off the inflationary pressures hitting the USA. Lower energy costs is the foundation that affects many aspects of the supply chain such as more affordable utility energy costs which could help divert rising costs for consumers but also commercial entities, cheaper transportation costs, generating revenues for manufacturers of tools and machinery related to the oil and natural gas industry, and maintaining employment. Yet, Biden is likely opening up the oil leases because the truth is that Big Oil and Gas has a lot of influence, so Biden is really trying to garner favor, considering many rich people can fund bad publicity against a President who goes against their business interests.
Biden has also kept Title 42 restrictions relating to immigration and asylum seekers. Biden is using the Trump Area Title 42 loophole that restricts entry into the US on the grounds of preventing the spread of contagious health risks, to keep asylum seekers out of the United States under the Remain in Mexico asylum seeker policy. It’s controversial, yet, it’s interesting that conservatives don’t give Biden much credit for maintaining this nativist Trumpian policy.
Such a policy was brought into further controversy after Haitian refugees fleeing earthquakes, hurricanes, and a government coup, migrated through Mexico and attempted to enter the USA. Border Agents, at this time under the leadership of Biden, used controversial tactics to keep the Haitian immigrants out of the United States. Yet, Biden later started removing restrictions on travel from eight African countries, where these the travel restriction was originally implemented to monitor the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Yet, this move to remove travel restrictions on African countries raises the question as to why the Haitian refugees weren’t allowed to claim asylum which is a right under international law.
But, despite Joe Biden doing things such as supporting the military and bolstering the economy in relation to COVID-19 and its variants, he is falling behind on what he promised to do for those who voted for him. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has failed in negotiations as of the fall of 2021, and this bill was introduced twice by Democrats but no success largely due lack of Republican support (zero vote for the second attempt at the reform bill).
There’s also issues such as 800,000+ Americans having died from COVID related illnesses while there is a universe of conspiracy theory and misinformation regarding vaccines; there is a homelessness epidemic largely caused by drug addiction (such as Feytanyl coming from South of the Border)/mental health and workers being priced out of real estate markets such as Seattle, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area; a “Crime Wave” as life normalizes after the initial COVID-19 lock-downs where crime could be traced to the lack of job opportunities/rising cost of living among the working classes; a very hot housing market where foreign investors are unfairly buying multiple homes (if not entire communities) and pricing out first-time homeowners; Roe v. Wade as always is under attack from Republicans; Trans people still lack legal protections over employment, healthcare access, and being protected if incarcerated; there is a threat of domestic terrorism such as by White Supremacy Extremists (WSEs); outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. has surpassed $1.7 trillion and burdens Americans more than credit card and auto debt (Nova, 2021, CNBC), and generally, there is lack of trust in institutions including the media.
Yet, from all this spending, where the money isn’t truly reaching the working classes, despite whatever sort of COVID stimulus checks or PPP Loans that individuals, families, and small-to-medium size businesses have received. The sheer amount of money spent so far since COVID started around March 2020 is…insane, and it could be argued that it is just another form of “trickle down” corporatism, rather that direct social investments in the people. It’s as if the government spends money just to say to the working classes that “we can’t afford this now”. The Buy Back Better Bill was intended to be a way for the people to get a cut of all this debt creations and deficit spending. It is disheartening that the American public will foot the bill for all this spending, yet, not really get a direct “in their pocket” benefit, granted the NDAA does stimulate employment across the thousands of contractors supporting the defense industry in the web we call the Military Industrial Complex, paying soldiers, and the Infrastructure Bill will help create employment with construction jobs, engineering projects, and improving roads/bridges/ports that naturally stimulate economies.
Doornbos, C., (2021), 34,000 Afghan Refugees Remain on Seven Military Bases in the US Three Months After Evacuation Mission, Military.com, source: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/07/34000-afghan-refugees-remain-seven-military-bases-us-three-months-after-evacuation-mission.html
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The Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs (2021), Justice Department Announces $139 Million for Law Enforcement Hiring to Advance Community Policing, source: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-announces-139-million-law-enforcement-hiring-advance-community-policing
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