Political Writing

Is Joe Biden the Worst President in American History?

Photo by Henrik Dønnestad on Unsplash

When I first joined Medium — and it wasn’t all that long ago, it was a pretty good center of discourse.

Lately, I’ve noticed that writers are writing entire articles with the sole apparent intention of luring readers with clickbait.

How else to explain the many Medium stories I see excoriating Joe Biden, who hasn’t even assumed office yet?

Viewing my Medium feed, you’d think he was already the worst president in history. Worse even than Trump, because unlike Trump, Biden is a normal human being and should know better.

Let’s take a look at Joe’s “record”, such as it is.

We’ll start with last night’s stimulus proposal per the New York Times:

  1. Total Cost: $1.9 trillion. This is twice the amount of last December’s stimulus. Biden has ignored deficit hawks and is specifically calling out the need for spending. This is only phase one. It also goes against his own history. He hasn’t announced phase two yet, but it’s expected to be big. Biden is acknowledging that this is the key time to use debt financing, so all the money for this phase is borrowed. Money is cheap right now.
  2. $2,000 in total disbursement checks for each American. This is in line with his campaign promise, despite what his paid antagonists tell you.
  3. Biden is asking Congress to extend emergency unemployment insurance programs through the end of September — they are set to expire in mid-March — while providing “a $400 per week unemployment insurance supplement to help hard-hit workers.” That’s less than the $600 from last spring, but more than December’s $300, but he needs to roll this through Republican opposition somehow. He’ll be lucky to get that.
  4. He’s asking for a $15 minimum wage, and trying to end the slave wages of waitresses and waiters. His strategy? End the tip credit for restaurants. Under that break for waitstaff employers, “restaurants can pay a server just $2.13 an hour if the waiter or waitress collects the other $5.12 of the federal minimum wage in tips.” Ending the credit would significantly boost wages for wait staff. Of course, you’ll pay more for dining out. Deal with it.
  5. $440 billion for communities and local public school reopening efforts as well as billions in small business and $350 billion in emergency funds for state and local governments.
  6. $160 billion in covid cash. This is to cover, among other things, a real, national-level vaccination program, which is currently non-existent. $20 billion of that $160 billion is earmarked for that. The rest is for expanding covid testing and for establishing a public health program of some kind (I haven’t read the details on what that means).
  7. 14 weeks of paid sick and family and medical leave for caregivers and a $1,400 leave benefit for eligible workers.
  8. $4,000 for parents with one child and $8,000 for parents with two or more children through an expanded child care tax credit. A full credit is available to any household making $125,000 or less, and a partial credit is available for households earning as much as $400,000.

And what does Bernie have to say about Biden’s stimulus proposal?

Biden has made it clear that this is just the beginning. He is planning a major infrastructure and Green economy proposal for his State of the Union speech.

Even Republicans should be excited. Financial trend watchers believe that the stimulus is big enough to impact decisions on how money is routed by investors, diverting it out of Asia to the United States:

He is empowering Black leaders in key posts

Today Biden nominated South Carolina Democratic Party chair, Jaime Harrison, to be the Chairperson of the DNC. This goes directly to the objections that have plagued the DNC for over a decade, and cedes power to local state chairs, something a lot of people have been calling for. As Politico reports:

About 70 state party chairs and vice chairs sent a letter to Biden’s transition team in November that, while not naming him, listed a series of qualities that all “matched Jaime’s resume and experience,” as one of them put it.

He also nominated Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to the Democratic National Committee to run civic engagement and voter protection efforts.

His principal political adviser seems to be South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, who Biden is obviously crediting with his primary win, for good reason: Biden’s candidacy was dead in the water until Clyburn gave it a boost in South Carolina. Biden is the opposite of Trump: loyal and ready to pay back debts.

Look, I understand genuine wariness regarding Biden. He wasn’t my first choice, either. His history is that of a centrist Democrat, which in my world view is the same as a 70s moderate Republican.

But all this click-baiting is bogus. He hasn’t even taken office yet, and what he has said and done so far is very promising. These articles attacking Biden are light on facts. But facts don’t matter in this day and age, do they?

It’s not just conservative QAnon types who have disengaged from facts. A lot of my fellow progressives have decided that ignoring facts is a good way to go in order to boost their Medium dollar take.

I’d say we are better than this, but I hate that phrase. Because it’s not true on either side of the aisle.

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Charles Bastille

Charles Bastille

Hyperbole enthusiast and author of MagicLand, available at your favorite bookseller: https://charles-bastille.com All stories © 2022 by Charles Bastille.