Back when he was running for president, Joe Biden gave a speech to a number of wealthy donors at the Carlyle Hotel that “nothing would fundamentally change” – a sound bite that was roundly condemned by his detractors, with few of them noting the context. To the donors he spoke with, a slight increase in the rates they paid wouldn’t mean much of a change in their day to day lives – but could make a significant difference to everyone else.
Later on in the campaign, we saw him unveil some rather ambitious plans that he would carry out as president, and now that he’s in office, we’ve already had a taste of them being carried out. After passing the much needed American Rescue Plan, with a peak in his job approval ratings, on Wednesday, President Biden plans to release a $2 trillion infrastructure plan – with $400 billion on clean energy credits, and $650 billion to restore roads and highways, and sizable investments in the manufacturing industry as well as affordable housing.
While the usual Republican defense against bold measures like this is to demand how it will be paid for, the initiatives will largely be funded through corporate taxes, and the plan will work as a way to undo the highly unpopular Trump tax cuts of 2017 if it passes. If passing Trump’s tax cuts in 2017 made Republicans look bad, it’s going to be even more difficult to vote against infrastructure spending, which generally has popular support, while they keep defending those same tax cuts. In another week or so, President Biden has another plan to help America build back better, with detailed plans on healthcare and education – turning out legislative proposals quicker than Republicans can come up with excuses about them.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making