Biden's economic push tests the power of pocketbook issues to sway America's polarized electorate - CNN Politics
April 30, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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A building Biden boom may be about to reshape America's politics.
The President said Wednesday night it’s time for a “blue-collar blueprint to build America,” speaking to Americans who feel “left-behind, forgotten in an economy that’s so rapidly changing. ” It’s a message that resonates with the voters courted by former President Donald Trump, as well as the Black and Brown voters in cities who turned out to elect Biden in states like Georgia.
When Republican senators argue that the economy is coming back so fast that it doesn’t need extra help – or that higher taxes and regulation will create a drag – Biden can point to the 8. 4 million jobs the economy is currently down from pre-pandemic levels.
During a drive-in rally Thursday in Georgia – the state that elected the two Democratic senators in runoff races this year that gave that party control of the 50-50 Senate – Biden told attendees that their votes had made it possible for him to sign coronavirus relief legislation, which he described as “one of the most consequential rescue bills in American history. ”
Biden has presented his American Jobs Plan as a fulfillment of his campaign promises to reward the middle class and union households, and on Thursday he argued that it would also deliver “real equity across the board to everyone: Black, White, Latino, Asian-American – good jobs, good schools, affordable housing, clean air, clean water. ” On Wednesday night, in his first address to a joint session of Congress, he outlined the second part of his infrastructure proposal – a large-scale investment in education, child care and paid family leave.
Looking ahead to this first midterm election cycle of a new presidency – when the party in power in the White House traditionally loses seats – Biden’s appeals will test whether the potential rise in economic prosperity fueled by historic government intervention will have as much power to persuade swing voters as the cultural appeals of Trump’s GOP.
He added that Biden’s Covid relief plan also has large amounts of “very flexible, easily used state and local aid” that may help many of the communities that are struggling economically, including in the Midwest where Trump and Biden battled for voters.
Ultimately, improving the lot of working and middle class Americans and creating broader prosperity is fundamental to a mission Biden defined this week to mend frayed US societal cohesion – and democracy itself to keep up with rising economic superpowers like China, which see the US in inexorable decline.
With Republicans and some moderate Democrats – including Senate swing vote Joe Manchin of West Virginia – leery about Biden’s multi-trillion dollar plans, a strong economy could undermine the case for more spending.
Biden’s $1. 8 trillion dollar American Families plan targets education and child care, an industry that suffered serious economic blows in the pandemic.