OPINION

A surprisingly transformational president

a-surprisingly-transformational-president

The widely held impression was that Joe Biden would be, if elected, a colorless, one-term president who would leave no imprint.

Surprisingly, the former vice president, whose message in the opening primaries of his party early last year was weak, who looked tired, who suffered stinging defeats and whose accession to the presidency appeared a pipe dream, is putting his stamp decisively on American history.

Not only did he upend the gloomy predictions to win the Democratic presidential nomination triumphantly, to defeat Donald Trump and stop what for many inside and outside the US was a painful slide for the superpower, but, with his first moves and especially the results he has achieved, he is bringing considerable change.

As a candidate, he managed to get the most votes ever, and he combined his victory with maintaining his party’s majority in the House of Representatives, while gaining it in the Senate (which may be divided 50-50 but is where the vice president casts the tie-breaking vote).

In just two months, the 78-year-old Biden, who does not inspire the masses, has embarked on a course that, given the early signs, could prove to be one of the most significant turning points in the history of his country.

The US promptly rejoined the World Health Organization and the Paris Agreement (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) and has already taken a leading role in dealing with the two greatest challenges we currently face: the pandemic and the environment.

Vaccinations are progressing by leaps and bounds, exceeding the original targets, and soon the US will begin supplying other countries with vaccines. The right planning from people who know their jobs and have the president’s full backing brings immediate results.

Just a few weeks after ensuring the passage of the huge $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to prop up the economy, Biden presents to the American people and the global community another mammoth package, worth $2 trillion, that will boost the economy by building new infrastructure and maintaining and improving the existing one. At the same time, he wants to increase taxes on the rich and raise the corporate tax from 21% to 28%. Joe Biden would thus become the president with the largest ever infusion of federal money into the economy.

If everything goes as Biden plans, the economy will grow at a strong pace, unemployment will shrink and social (and racial) inequalities will be drastically reduced.

The issues that bedevil the US have not been solved yet. There’s danger lurking ahead. Dealing with the migration crisis will be a big challenge for the new president. The recent resurgence in coronavirus cases is worrying. His basket is definitely full.

At the end of the day everything will obviously depend on the results of Biden’s economic and social policy, both in the short and longer terms. But he is off to an unexpectedly good start.

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