Joe Biden was recently inaugurated, and we’re currently just over two months into his first term. Keeping up on politics can be confusing, it can be boring, and it can be stressful a lot of the time. So let’s take a quick look at what Joe Biden has done, (and what he hasn’t done) in his first few weeks in office.
One major success that you have probably heard of was the passing of the stimulus bill, which will have enormous positive effects on the American people hit hardest by the pandemic. Another major success is without a doubt most of his executive orders. These include things like reversing the actions of his predecessor, and improving the management of the COVID-19 crisis.
He has had numerous failures, however. These include his failure to reach any bipartisan support for his first piece of major legislation. Another was his airstrikes in Syria, which really angered many anti-war members of his own party. The most recent major failure was with regard to the major influx of immigrants from the southern border. They are overwhelmed, and not keeping people in very good conditions. There was also a bit of an embarrassment when he fell three times trying to walk up the steps of Air Force One.
His next piece of legislation is set to be a 3 trillion dollar bill regarding infrastructure. This however very well could not make it through Congress, due to the fact that many Republicans think it’s too much, while many Democrats believe it’s not nearly enough.
So far, the vaccine rollout is going well, improving from the mess that it was a few months ago. This is definitely an issue where Biden has more approval, because his general approval rating as of now is an unimpressive 55%, whereas the support for his job on COVID is as high as 68%.
One colossal failure on his and the entire Democratic Party’s fault was the broken promises. In the weeks leading up to the election. We were promised $2000 stimulus checks, only for that to be bumped to $1400, and then we had the window of people eligible for it narrowed. In the primaries, he was going all in on his support for a watered down Medicare for All, basically what he called a “public option.” In a pandemic, don’t you think this would be important legislation to pass as quickly as possible? Well, we’ve heard nothing about it so far.
Relating to taxes as well, Biden is being very cautious with any slight changes he makes. Before the Trump era, the corporate tax rate was 35%, and Trump bumped it down to 21%. Biden plans to push it up to wait for it… not 35%, but 28%. He’s also said that he will not raise taxes on anyone making over $400,000 per year.
Frankly, this feels like a moderate Republican is in office. $400,000 is such a high income bracket, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to raise taxes on people making slightly less than that. $300,000, even $200,000 per year is still a lot of money, and those people in the upper middle class can afford to contribute more.
This ties back into the fact that Biden is continuing the outrageously expensive wars in the Middle East, which is draining our tax money. If we stopped spending so much on these unwinnable wars that were based on lies, maybe we wouldn’t even have a need to raise taxes so much.
To conclude this summary of Biden’s first few weeks, it really can be described in one word. Stagnant. Its definition from the Oxford English Dictionary is, “showing no activity; dull and sluggish.” Sadly, this is a perfect description of the President’s job so far. A continuation of normalcy and the status quo. Don’t get it twisted, this administration is an improvement over the last, but it is a disappointment. Let’s let the President’s own words summarize what I’m trying to say here. “Nothing will fundamentally change.”
Ryan Burke is a freshman at Sweet Home High School, and a former Co-Editor of the Panther Press Viewpoints Section. He enjoys swimming and playing piano, and plans on providing input to political issues, both nationally and locally. He considers himself an advocate for Social Democracy.