Thursday, 18 March 2021 13:33

OPINION: Biden a transformational president

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Democrats passed the American Recovery Act without a single Republican vote. The party that spent the past four years giving tax cuts to the rich and running up unprecedented deficits is suddenly concerned about the debt and deficit again. It was predictable as daylight savings time. 

The American Recovery Act is wildly popular. As families and businesses still struggle to get through the pandemic, the law provides the economic shot in the arm to go along with the one the COVID vaccine will really give. Overwhelmingly, Americans approve, even Republicans. Polls show 70% of the public supports the program, including 40% of Republicans. That’s bipartisanship. 

Professional Republicans complain that Biden promised bipartisanship and passed the bill with only Democrats. In reality, it’s the GOP lawmakers and pundits who are committed to polarization. Biden is uniting the country around legislation that has broad support. That’s true bipartisanship. McConnell and company continue to play the games that divide the country in an attempt to make Democrats fail.

On Twitter, Ted Cruz called Biden “boring but radical.” A conservative writer in National Journal predicted a coming backlash against the progressive agenda. He cited the 1966 elections when Republicans scored big while Lyndon Johnson was passing transformational legislation. The author claims the victories were the result of Great Society programs, but the anger at Johnson was cultural and more attributable to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Civil Rights Act of 1964. Medicare and Medicaid, the centerpieces of the Great Society, are still widely popular today. 

Biden is proving to be a transformational president. He’s taking Democrats back to their days as a party that believes in activist government. Instead of allowing states to figure out how to navigate vaccinations, he’s set up a national program that delivered 4.6 million doses on Saturday alone. He’s telling the American people suffering from the economic effects of the coronavirus that the government will help them recover. And he’s leaving behind the chaos of the former administration by keeping his mouth shut instead of politicizing every move. 

Republicans who are asking how to pay for the program know where the money is. It’s in the pockets of those people who benefited disproportionally from the $1.9 trillion tax cut and who watched their portfolios balloon while those at the other end of the economic spectrum suffered. There’s plenty of money to pay the for the relief so many Americans need. Now, it’s time for Democrats to restructure the tax code to make it more fair and balanced. 

Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of Before beginning PoliticsNC, Mills spent 20 years as a political and public affairs consultant.