As Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House was accompanied by high hopes, and not only by his supporters, the discussion of the results of the first six months of his administration was the focus of many media and analysts.
Thus, CNN notes that the “honeymoon” in power for Biden is over. He is expected to restore consensus between Democrats and Republicans and solve a bunch of issues that he clearly can not do. The publication notes that during a recent trip to Ohio, Biden spoke to citizens as an experienced politician. Still, it has become clear that he does not have the magic solutions promised in the election.
As Robert Reichch, Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, pointed out to The Guardian, Joe Biden has a good chance of getting America back to where it was before the coronavirus pandemic, which is slowly receding. Today, nearly half of all US adults are fully vaccinated. The main achievement in this regard, in his view, was undoubtedly the approval of a nearly two-trillion-dollar financial aid package to combat the effects of the COVID pandemic.
On this issue, NBC quotes Biden as saying, “…three million jobs. Before us, no presidential administration has managed to create so many of them in the first six months of work.” At the same time, the newspaper points out that the Republican House fraction has published its own version of the president’s “report card” for the first half of the year — among other things, it mentions that inflation under him jumped to a level that has not risen in 13 years.
Republicans heavily criticize Biden for investing trillions of dollars in the economy when fears of inflation are growing. It is emphasized that this step is incomprehensible to many. The fight against COVID-19 has cost an insignificant part of the money, about 1 percent. Most of the additional money is already allocated for programs of this administration related to the redistribution of funds, in other words the nationalization of certain industries. In particular, Biden’s opponents stress that this bill allocates a lot of money to the semiconductor industry, the Internet, and many other industries that do not need the money at all. They rake in the cash. Their capitalization is at record levels, the NASDAQ index of technology companies is constantly breaking records.
Against this background, a recent letter from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to Congress draws attention to the fact that if the debt ceiling is not raised after July 31, the USA will be in danger of default. The vertical rise in inflation continues in the USA. The US Department of Labor reported on Tuesday that the nation’s annual inflation rate unexpectedly accelerated to 5.4% in June, a record since 2008. Monthly inflation in June was 0.9% after 0.6% in May, with a forecast of 0.5%.
Amid Americans’ mixed assessment of developments in the United States, according to a report in The Oregonian, a poll conducted by YouGov found that 37% of Americans favor the breakup of the United States. A January 2021 poll by the same company showed that overall support for the breakup of the US was then 29% – that is, eight percentage points lower than in June. Thus, in just six months of Joe Biden’s administration, the desire of US citizens to secede from Washington has increased dramatically.
Although analysts admit that the President fulfilled one of his first promises to speed up vaccinations, he is having difficulty convincing now reluctant Americans to take the vaccine. Nevertheless, Biden’s supporters believe that the COVID pandemic and the associated economic turmoil provide an opportunity for significant reforms, some of which the American president has already put forward, particularly the job creation program, the program to support American families. Their goal is to invest in upgrading infrastructure, creating a green economy, and expanding social support for the middle class. However, his Republican opponents insist that much of this massive spending is unjustified.
And everyone in the American establishment recognizes that the problem of economic inequality is worsening and needs to be corrected. And in this regard, the idea of raising taxes on the highest income bracket and using these funds for popular social programs seems quite reasonable. Although there are doubts whether Biden will get Congress to approve this bill, he should try to do so.
Analysts note that Biden’s “bailout plan” is a success, with many of Biden’s executive orders wiping out most of Trump’s executive orders. Still, he hasn’t wrecked all of the tough immigration policy. Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric is gone, but Biden has not renewed relations with China. Many elements of Trump’s tariff war are still in effect.
The symbol of Biden’s foreign policy of the past six years has been the unexpected, for many, complete and hasty withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. This decision is criticized, one might say, by most analysts; lawmakers criticize it. Although, on the one hand, American society recognizes the objective need for such a step, nevertheless, a significant amount of discussion takes place about the refugees from Afghanistan, namely people who have worked with the US Army, primarily interpreters and not only. A large part of the population is confused as to why Biden did not immediately give them asylum in America, did not accept them all as refugees. After all, these people do fall into the category of political refugees more than anyone else.
Against this background, a new Gallup poll shows that the approval rating of the US president has dropped six points, dropping to a low of 50%. As The Hill notes, this drop in Joe Biden’s popularity coincides with new concerns about inflation, a rise in coronavirus infections, and a slowdown in the pace of vaccinations.
It is also noteworthy that in the past six months, there has been an excessive and sometimes very incorrect publication in the US media about Joe Biden’s health and his ability to perform his duties.
Former White House physician Ronnie Jackson, for example, called on US President Joe Biden to urgently undergo testing for cognitive impairment, pointing out that the American leader’s “diminished mental capacity” and forgetfulness have become more noticeable. Jackson’s letter, which 13 Republican congressmen signed, says that “Americans deserve to know that the President can exercise his responsibilities as head of state and Commander in Chief and to achieve this, we urge You (Biden) to take a cognitive test immediately.” To follow the example of former US President Donald Trump, who underwent a similar test. “Unfortunately, your diminished mental capacity and forgetfulness have become more pronounced over the past 18 months,” the letter said, citing many examples of mistakes Biden has made in speeches and events in recent months.
The other day Fox News quoted Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell: “Americans are horrified by the weekly videos that reflect Biden’s dementia.” The question of whether Biden’s cognitive capabilities is also raised by the New York Post. Fox News correspondent Raymond Arroyo draws attention to Biden’s highly troubling behavior.
In addition, the US media began to promote the topic of impeaching Joe Biden. In particular, one of the most recent reasons cited for these calls were linked to the deal he made on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
The above points alone indicate the worsening attitude in American society toward Joe Biden, and his future stay as President of the United States promises to be very difficult.
Vladimir Odintsov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook“.