This article was written well ahead of publishing in order for the author to honor a personal commitment
Today is Thanksgiving Day in America. In reality the day is taken up with too much eating and watching football but its intent is to give thanks for all the good we have. While I, like most Americans, have a lot to be thankful for I want to center on one thing – Joe Biden. What a difference a year makes. America is so much better off this year than it was last Thanksgiving under then-President Donald Trump!
Joe Biden took over a country that was in the midst of an almost out of control pandemic and experiencing severe economic problems. The latter caused the former and the former guy exacerbated instead of moderating the problem. Trump was, plain and simple, way over his head! Biden came in with a systematic plan to harness the pandemic as much as possible and in the process right the economy. It was a dual track with a singular purpose and it’s working.
One of the first things Biden did was get the American Rescue Plan passed and the $1,400 per adult checks soon partially rescued many people while provided an economic boost for those less adversely affected by the pandemic. The American economy has been 70% consumer demand for decades. This legislation was passed without a single Republican vote.
Biden took office at noon on January 20, 2021 and the new COVID-19 cases for the day were 184,754. On November 7, 2021 (the latest stats available at this writing) the new cases were 72,436. I’ll let you play with the numbers but any way you slice it that is a huge reduction.
Unlike Trump, who suggested injecting bleach and shoving lights up bodily orifices, Biden took a scientific approach and got a real vaccination effort going. The proof of the program is in the above paragraph. As of the other day everyone 5 and older is eligible to be vaccinated. In Biden’s first 100 days alone over 220 million Americans had received at least one dose.
With a lasso, albeit a lose one, on the pandemic the economy improved. (Remember this is all despite a massive far right disinformation and anti-vaccine campaign.) In Biden’s first 9 plus months the economy added 5.6 million jobs. Contrast that with 4.5 million new jobs during Trump’s entire 4 years in office.
Unemployment (and I will concede that the reported numbers are never a full reflection of the economy) stands at 4.6% at this writing. Traditionally economists consider 5% unemployment to be full employment. The October jobs report showed 531,000 new jobs. At the same time the August and September numbers were adjusted upward by 235,000 jobs.
I don’t think the stock market is the economy but there is an element, especially among the Trumpers, that does. The DOW hit 36,000 for the first time ever on November 1st and closed above it on November 2nd.
On Friday November 5th Congress passed the largest infrastructure package in American history at $1.2 trillion. Unlike tax cuts targeted to those who already had plenty of money, infrastructure spending benefits everyone and the entire economy. You might say that under Biden America is winning and an investment in infrastructure should ensure the winning continues.
I guess no holiday political op-ed would be complete without a prediction. Thanksgiving is a large family gathering day and frequently a time where public figures have the family weigh in on possible retirements. I expect several to be announced in the next few weeks. I have no inside information or idea which way it will go but the one I’d keep an eye out for is Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer’s. If he decides to “pull the pin” it will set up an interesting chain of events.
Both the economy and the country are far from perfect but we are in much better shape than we were last Thanksgiving! You didn’t do it alone but thanks, Joe!
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