By Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III | Trice EdneyWire
REVIEW (TriceEdneyWire.com) – “We’re amazed but not amused – By all the things you say you’ll do… But we’re sick of hearing your song – Saying how you’re gonna change right from wrong – Because if you really want to hear our point of view – You didn’t do anything…“Stevie Wonder 1974
Politics is the process of debating and negotiating the distribution of limited public resources. It can also involve the debate and process that determines who is elected to public office. Public policy is the outcome, the determination of who or what entities will receive these limited public resources and in what quantities. A year later, Biden and Harris have failed on politics by not fighting for what they promised and on politics by not delivering.
During the 2020 presidential election, Senator Biden promised the American people that his administration’s top national agenda priorities would be fighting the coronavirus, improving the economy, responding to calls for racial justice and the fight against climate change. On the international front, Biden promised his administration would “lead the world on issues ranging from climate change to nuclear proliferation, from great power aggression to transnational terrorism, from cyber warfare to mass migration.” He promised to “…repair the damage done by President Trump and chart a fundamentally different course for American foreign policy for the world as we find it today…”
According to the latest AP poll, Biden’s approval rating has hit a new low. Forty-three percent of respondents said they somewhat or strongly approved of Biden’s handling of his job as president. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they somewhat or strongly disapproved of Biden’s performance. Gallup reported that Biden’s first-year approval rating was lower than many other former presidents at 48.9%.
The administration’s approach to tackling the coronavirus has been mixed. His national strategy to defeat COVID-19 was far better than the previous administration’s non-existent plan. Biden’s original plan was pretty well written and executed. However, Biden ran into major hurdles; including his COVID team’s inconsistent messaging, lack of public trust in government (much of which was fomented by the previous administration and continues to be perpetuated by Trump supporters), delta variant, omicron variant and more specifically the inability to develop and implement a national strategy to fight against vaccines and mask wearing. In the minds of many, perception is reality. President Biden’s lack of visibility on COVID leaves many feeling like he doesn’t really have control or command of this issue.
The economy is not doing as well as many analysts would have you believe. It is a “tale of two cities”. The financialized sector of the economy is doing well. If you’re lucky enough to have a 401(k) retirement plan, you’re doing pretty well. According to Fidelity, the average 401(k) balance reached $129,000 as of June 30, up 24% from the same period last year. That should come as no surprise, with the Fed keeping benchmark interest rates near zero and continuing to pump $120 billion a month into the financial sector by buying at least $120 billion of bonds each month.
The real economy is another story. According to the WSJ, initial jobless claims totaled 286,000 for the week ended Jan. 15, well above the 225,000 estimate. Continuing claims also rose to 1.64 million. Evictions are also on the rise in several American cities. According to the latest data from Princeton University’s Deportation Lab, deportation filings have increased in most of the 31 cities and six states where it collects data. According to Statistica, “Since the Supreme Court ended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid-19 eviction ban on August 26, more Americans in major cities have been left homeless or homeless. . That’s according to figures found on the Eviction Lab website, which tracks eviction filings where available on a weekly basis.
Instead of providing near-zero interest loans to those who need them most in America and pumping $120 billion a month into social welfare programs, the FED is providing the money to the financial sector. President Biden Can’t Pass His Landmark BBB Bill; Senators Manchin and Sinema, et al assert that “we cannot afford BBB”. But they somehow found a way to pour taxpayers’ money into financial institutions, protect Trump’s tax cuts, and pass a $770 billion defense bill, or $24 billion from more than Biden asked for. While it is clear that national politics is extraordinarily polarized by party, President Biden cannot even get his bills signed through his own party and as President he is the leader of his party.
Biden says, “I ran on compromise and consensus…” No, that’s not true! Joe, you ran on reducing the cost of pharmaceuticals, Medicare dental and optical coverage, eliminating student loan debt, free college (which later became free community college), 70 billions of dollars for HBCUs and tribal colleges, etc. Compromise and consensus is the way you promised to accomplish what you promised!
One of the biggest failures of the Biden administration on the home front is its inability to secure the The Free Suffrage Act and/or the John Lewis Advancement of Suffrage Act. Protecting the principle of one person, one vote and ensuring that ballots are counted are cornerstones of a representative democracy. The following quotes, one from a Republican senator and the other from a Democratic strategist, speak volumes. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell tweeted, “African American voters vote in as high a percentage as Americans.” Democratic strategist Paul Begala explained that the reason the party failed to push through the franchise is that it has “bad supporters”. So Republicans don’t see African Americans as Americans and Democrats see African Americans as stupid children.
Biden’s foreign policy has also failed. As a member of the Obama administration, Biden was at the forefront when productive deals with Cuba and Iran were struck. After having Trump rescind both of those deals, Biden broke his promise to “…repair the damage done by President Trump and chart a fundamentally different course for American foreign policy….” by not reversing Trump’s cancellation of the accords.
Obama allowed the Saudi “coalition” to attack Yemen, resulting in the worst man-made humanitarian crisis in world history. Biden could end this atrocity by refusing to refuel Saudi planes and failing to provide logistical support. President Biden said at a press conference on January 12 that the re-designation of Yemen’s Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization was “under review.” This would essentially criminalize the delivery of food to Houthi-controlled areas of northern Yemen, where most of the country’s starving population lives.
President Obama has decided not to seek the extradition of Wikileaks founder and journalist Julian Assange. Trump has decided to reverse this decision. Biden has now followed in Trump’s footsteps by doubling down on Trump’s attack on free speech, journalism and the First Amendment.
Biden tries to fight with China, Russia and Iran. Fortunately, Presidents Xi, Putin and Raisi are far too smart to be dragged into a conflict with the United States. American chauvinistic rhetoric forces these countries to band together and they enter into cooperative agreements that do not bode well for American interests.
Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Venezuela and other South and Central American countries held peaceful, open and fair elections that ousted neoliberal US-backed governments. United. When Biden held his “Democracy Summit” and none of these countries were invited. Their hypocrisy is nauseating. The Chilean protests of October 2019 highlighted the tensions between neoliberalism and democracy. The failed US policy of neoliberalism started in Chile and is now dead in Chile!
After a 19 year and 10 month invasion that cost the American taxpayer over $2 billion, the United States was driven out of Afghanistan. Biden has now focused on the African continent. After eight years of failed French intervention in Mali, French President Emmanuel Macron is looking for an exit strategy. Biden is trying to convince Macron to stay as the United States seeks to increase its presence in the region. It looks like Vietnam to me.
Biden continued to support the TPLF in the war in Ethiopia, was on the wrong side in Sudan and stood idly by as AFRICOM-trained troops led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya overthrew the government of President Alpha Condé and now President Roch Marc Kaboré of Burkina Faso has been taken into military custody.
Senator Biden promised to “…repair the damage done by President Trump and chart a fundamentally different course for American foreign policy for the world as we find it today…” Well, that’s a an and we, the people, those who believe in democracy are excluded.
Producer/Host of the nationally broadcast radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon” on SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 126. Visit www.wilmerleon.com or email: wjl3us @yahoo.com. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription on Facebook.com