In October of 2021, CNN hosted a Presidential town hall moderated by Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage. The 46th President of the United States of America, President Joe Robinette Biden, addressed his 4.5 Trillion dollar Build Back Better Plan, and the need for bipartisan support (Conde). Biden’s address to the nation was superb, and some political scientist may have found moments of political backsliding, or less serious stipulations that are incorporated as apart of POLS-471, Topics in Democracy.
Delaware is a hub for corporate America, it was also Senator Biden’s constituency from 1973 to 2009, “I come from the corporate state of the world, Delaware — more corporations in Delaware than every other state in the union combined” (CNN). President Biden claims 55 corporations in America made over 40 billion dollars, yet none of these corporations paid a cent in taxes, “not a single little red cent” (CNN). Biden goes on to say, “I don’t care, I hope you can be a millionaire or a billionaire” then, Cooper interrupts the President, “How would you pay for your plan” in which Biden awkwardly lectured about the history of taxes, then is led into answering the question. Ultimately, Biden stated, “we will pay for everything by ensuring that everyone making under $400,000 will not see a raise in taxes.” (CNN). President Biden reports that seventeen Nobel laureates believe his economic plan will cause deflation, and Biden told viewers that all of his plan will be paid for.
It is challenging to believe that taxes would not be raised across the board, that his plan would cause disinflation and some political scientist may be skeptical upon the realization that the corruption Biden allures to was in his own state. During the Obama-Biden administration, the Affordable Health Care Act caused premiums to raise, although President Barrack Obama purported his health care plan would not do so (Forbes). Judging from past statements made while Joe Biden was in the Executive Branch, it is plausible that Biden is spreading misinformation about inflation and taxes (Fox News). Furthermore, and contrary to Biden’s very recent opinion, it can be reasoned that Biden’s reliance on OPEC nations will continue to raise gas prices, and since energy consumption is intermediate, this would cause the average price of goods and services to raise, this is known as inflation. Additionally, inflation may be the result of overspending, which his 4.5 Trillion dollar Build Back Better Plan may do. The combination of both factors may cause hyper-inflation, which causes drastic political instability .
Putting the economics of Joe Biden’s plan aside, rather using a social level of analysis, Joe Biden raises many legitimate concerns. Without some social programs, one could predict some degree of democratic erosion would occur. Democratic Backsliding can occur if sections of America’s citizenry are prevented from going to work, if America’s education system fails to educate its voting base, and if the Covid-19 virus or natural disasters overwhelms America’s emergency responses.
President Biden’s stimulus plan is comprised of a two front strategy infrastructure and the care economy. The infrastructure plan includes installing a safer electric grid in areas threaten by wildfires. Additionally, the infrastructure plan includes, “roads, highway, bridges, buses, trains” in which this state sponsored modernization is strategized by big data with a concern for environmental remediation (CNN). Biden claimed half of wild fires are caused by exposed wires, “Half the forest fires out west are those towers coming down” (CNN). Wildfires cause neighborhoods to disperse, interrupt normal life, cause premature death, and stress the capacity of social services (USDA Forest Services). To prevent civil unrest, it is reasonable to minimize the probability a wildfire from occurring. Biden, inspired by The 32nd President of the USA Franklin D. Roosevelt, Biden aims to pass a refined Green New Deal and expand a comprehensive welfare system, which Biden calls The Care Economy. The titles of these programs resonate well with voters, and Biden may be regarded as a populist who uses a light level of propaganda. E.g. “Build Back Better”.
Biden credits America’s success to its commitment to educate Americans in the late 19th Century. Although subsidized education was previously taken off the agenda, Biden committed himself to pass government-sponsored 2-year professional education, “we can significantly increase the amount of money, by 500 bucks a payment, for Pell Grants…for up to 30 percent of the cost of…tuition” (CNN). Biden committed himself to overseeing a better educated citizenry because, “any country that out educates us will out compete us” (CNN 18:33). Since America is a democracy, it relies on its entire voting population to rationalize its political outcomes. However, the implication of this legislation is not guaranteed because of legislator’s preference to support other welfare programs.
The President wants to give a three hundred to three hundred fifty dollar per child tax break to middle-class families via a stimulus check through the IRS for those families making under $300,000 per household, “’You now are qualified to be able to have a Child Tax Credit…I call this a “tax break” for middle-class people’” and Biden plans to provide child supervision so parents can go to work (CNN). Biden is also advocating for maternity leave or elderly care holiday, “We’re one of the few industrial countries in the world that doesn’t have paid leave… through Medicaid [there are over 800,000 families] who qualify for home health care aid for their parents” (CNN). Biden explains that his government program will employ women and immigrants, and that their on-site training will educate them to be like nurses. There are two perspective of passing such a welfare state. The first is, citizens would thrive in a greater quality of life, and the benefits would offset the economic cost. The second perspective is that expanding social benefits would bankrupt the system. Biden believes the DNC could expand Medicaid to include dental, vision, and hearing if Medicaid negotiates drug prices, “an $800-dollar voucher for dental work” (CNN 12:13). However, Senator Joe Manchin and Kristen Cinema opposes this progressive plan because these politicians believe the expansion would overwhelm Medicare.
For any of this to be possible, Biden requires support in the Legislative Branch. The President wants to limit filibustering, a political tactic used by minority parties in the Legislative Branch. Furthermore, Biden called for support of ten GOP representatives and Joe Manchin. For Biden to keep the process of legislation moving along, he is required to work within the limits of what Republicans are willing to support; therefore, Biden needs to focus on infrastructure bills since Biden claims, “I got no support for anything from our Republican friends. And then they said, maybe we can work out a bipartisan deal on infrastructure” (CNN). This claim is especially concerning when considering the two-week time budget.
Another way Biden is interested in assisting families, is by supporting a federal program to vaccine children ages 5 to 11. Biden asked eligible Americans to receive the dose, and that those currently too young will eventually be eligible to receive an appropriate dosage. Interestingly enough, Biden wants these vaccines to be given in specially qualified locations, like pediatrician offices. In a speculatively symbolic remark, Biden mentioned the use of churches to distribute the vaccine, “there are over 800,000 sites right now that exist in America where you can go get a vaccine….in churches on the weekend and that kind of thing” (CNN). Since religious social groups are more likely not to receive the vaccine, Biden likely mentioned this to target this particular social movement.
All in all, Biden needs more bipartisan support if he would like to bring all his dreams to light. Many of Biden’s ambitions are thought provoking, but when fact checked, new levels of analysis give viewers a different conclusion. Readers should be skeptical about Biden’s claims of inflation and taxes. Likewise, voters need to focus on other politicians if they fail to make concessions on some spending bills, because if our representatives fail to compromise, the government will fail to stay open or society will not be given any solutions. Politicians needs to find uniting fronts, like sensible infrastructure deals, where bipartisan support is more likely. Hopefully, Biden finds ways to lead social conservatives, so that he can foster trust in the anti-vaccine political movement. Education is key to success, voters should pay attention to The White House, and how Congress is working together. In the wise words of Biden, “If we can’t unite this country, we are in deep trouble.”
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