Will Joe Biden make America great again? President-elect, Joe Biden, has his work cut off for him like many previous presidents of the greatest country in the world before him.
What makes his tenure distinct is the fact of a pandemic that has ravaged through the country, killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, and has in equal measure, left many Americans poorer and unemployed. This current status-quo shortens any political betting odds in favour of him running a successful first term. Notwithstanding, President-elect Joe Biden has offered his plans to change or improve the state of the country, outlining issues ranging from immigration policies, justice reforms and economic recovery.
What are his concrete plans as incoming President of the United States of America and is he up to the task? Let’s take a closer look!
1. Improve Public Health Policies and Infrastructure
Biden has stated a clear and immediate commitment to improving the state of the healthcare system, particularly, improvements to the dire state of public healthcare infrastructure, and the issue of affordability. One of his most imminent plans with respect to health care is to firstly, protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, from what he says are attacks by Republicans. Secondly, he plans to further invest in the ACA by providing more public oriented plans that will lead to cost reductions as well as make it less daunting to navigate the healthcare system.
Also worth mentioning is Biden’s decision to reinstate Dr Anthony Fauci in his position as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Effectively placing his confidence in the expertise of Dr Fauci and the direction that he recommends the country should follow in light of the pandemic.
2. Economic Recovery
On the 2nd of December, 2020, Biden announced his six-member economic team with a pledge to all Americans that “help is on the way”. The language of his plans for economic recovery are as important as the figures, policies and legislations that form part of economic vision. There is a consistent reiteration of the language of unions, of ‘all’, of the middle and working class in speaking about the economic crisis. He identifies it as a crisis of structural inequalities rather than a recent or slightly dated economic crunch problem.
As an initial start, and somewhat of a win for Democrats, even though the decision was bipartisan, a $908 billion virus relief and economic stimulus package was unveiled. This is in line with Biden urging congress to pass the call for a relief package ahead of the time congress takes to go on recesses for the holiday.
More long-term, Biden has proposed to raise corporate income taxes from 21% to 28%. There is also a lot of talk about boosting domestic manufacturing, investing billions into research and development, and a promise to create 5 million jobs, but also 250,000 jobs specifically to offset the impact of dwindling mining job opportunities in America.
3. Reuniting the Country
For a number of years now, several think-pieces have exposited that public opinion of the American population has never been as divided as it has been under the Trump administration. There are starkly different and polarizing beliefs surrounding issues of national importance such as foreign policy, climate change, immigration and justice reforms. More pointedly, Vice-President Kamala Harris used her victory speech to affirm that, “no matter who you worship of how you voted this election” the Biden-Harris administration is committed to working for all Americans.
In honouring this commitment of being an administration for all people, in hopes of a more unified American public, Biden has proposed to make changes such as reversing the immigration policies enacted under the Trump administration which he has deemed as damaging.
He has also promised to put forward a legislation immigration reform bill to Congress which will serve to create pathways for 11 million undocumented immigrants to obtain citizenship. He has further pledged to make the DACA programme permanent as soon as possible, to cease all funding towards the construction of the wall and to effectively address the current asylum system in order to stop families being separated at the U.S-Mexico border.
The Biden administration’s plans and ambitions are bold and wide reaching but such is what is expected of any president of the United States of America. The journey ahead requires an unbelievable amount of guts and tenacity and the odds are looking very stiff for Biden at the moment.