During the 2020 campaign, the Biden camp took great pains to convince the working class (a catch-all term for low to middle income Americans working in various industries) he was one of them and Donald Trump was not. Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, Biden seemed to realize an electoral victory was impossible without getting their support back. Even so, if not for about 70K votes in four states Donald Trump would be getting ready for his second term.
Ironically, Joe Biden owes his Presidency to the suburban voters of wealth and privilege who once backed Republicans for their fiscal austerity. But cultural issues to those with money and access to institutions always eventually matters more than a few dollars and cents. At the same time, the multi – racial coalition Democrats thought would be theres for a generation sure seems to have grown some major cracks.
But, all through the campaign, one could not help but wonder if Joe Biden was simply playing lip service to the working class. The same working class who voted for Obama twice, were disappointed, and became less Democratic as a result. Joe Biden consistently has done a two – step with these voters, promising them policies which will benefit them economically and health – wise (ie. COVID vaccination plans, etc.).
But, over the last two weeks any suspicions Biden actually meant what he said on the campaign trail about representing them has been thrown to the wayside. For simplicity, let’s just take three examples, because I could find a lot more. Trust me.
- Stimulus Package: Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan to rescue the economy has some good things for the working class. It includes $1,400 stimulus checks for millions, an expansion of the EITC and Child Care Tax Credit and also billions for COVID testing and response. An increase in rental assistance is needed and appreciated as well. The rest is a big meh sandwich though. Hundreds of billions funneled to states – including those likely to use the funds to bail out failed pension systems benefitting a select few, a provision expanding access to the ACA exchanges but where the billions in subsidies will primarily benefit the upper middle class (making them eligible) while those already qualifying and benefiting would see modest premium adjustments, if any. Further, the expansion of the eviction moratorium, while welcome, ignores the issues of rental affordability in general and the fact many landlords still need to pay their lenders. The buck doesn’t just stop at the rental level. Oh, and then there is the $15 minimum wage which will kill jobs and ensure the legislation dies. It is like Biden doesn’t even want it to work.
- Immigration: Who didn’t see this one coming? On day one, Biden will propose an immigration bill proposing a creating a pathway for legalization of 11 million illegals (or 20, or 30, who knows as the number keeps changing) and have no funds for border security. Ya know, the thing that used to be bipartisan. For an economy where fewer jobs are available outside the service industry paying poverty wages – expanding citizenship would be a sure fire way to lure even more country into this country to take these few jobs. Sure, these people came here for a better life. But, America should be past the point of pretending we can do everything. Hard choices need to be made. Well, they should at least but that doesn’t compute politically.
- Executive Orders: The Biden administration has pushed out twenty or so EO’s it will implement as soon as it takes office. Some are symbolic, others powerless, but ones such as bringing the US back into the Paris Climate Agreement will do absolute damage to the working class. Agreements like this are why cars have become massively expensive, giving companies an excuse to argue their products are worth more due to the R&D they invested (even though they get massive tax breaks for these investments).
Keep in mind I am not even going into the Biden camp telegraphing its plans to keep America embroiled in foreign conflicts, join massive trade deals which sap the country of any bargaining leverage or even his laissez faire attitude to even taxing the wealthy or corporations. No wonder they didn’t fear this administration. They knew he only called for higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations to keep the Left happy. He never really cared about implementing them.
It sounded good on the campaign trail but now that details are coming out on the policies and ideas Biden will explore his “I care for you schtick” is being exposed as a fraud. It benefits the elites and those in positions to wealth and capital while leaving those who didn’t vote for him – primarily rural and non – college educated – out in the cold to absorb higher costs to satisfy the liberal intelligentsia. Kind of like the failed promises of his predecessor. Who would have thought that? Oh wait…..