Joe Biden is known for his legislative achievements that kept the US strengthened in the global arena, establishing alliances, and reorienting foreign policy and investment platforms. The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is one of his implementations that seeks to secure supply chains and create favorable middle-class employment opportunities.
The economic sector highlights his successful strides in creating more jobs and reducing unemployment rates. The President’s success, however, seems to have lost favor among several supporters, as recent polls suggest that former President Donald Trump may have a decent chance of beating him in 2024.
The U.S. federal deficit has increased to an estimated $1.5 trillion. This year it is up from $984 billion in 2019 before COVID-19 came into the picture to make this explosive. The rapid inflation rate has made some voters skeptical about President Biden veering towards the left, with more spending and not conceding enough to the Republicans.
While many won’t enjoy the great union jobs that make semiconductors in Arizona, they vote for what they believe in and buy their groceries. Unfortunately, their confidence in Biden’s economic leadership, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, continues to decrease.
It seems that President Biden hasn’t been very successful in tackling the high cost of government and inflation or introducing policies that address underlying issues like soaring healthcare expenses that are 50% higher than those of Germany and the Netherlands. Moreover, there are no programs to reduce the exorbitant cost of college fees, and industrial policies offer subsidies instead of solving America’s high-cost issues concerning manufacturing – such as semiconductors, where Asia is up to 44% less expensive than the US.
Biden’s Policies Driving Up Prices and Neglecting Social Security Funding Crisis
Joe Biden’s policy of not negotiating free-trade agreements with allies whose labor standards pose no threat such as the European Union (EU), United Kingdom (U.K.), Japan, and Taiwan is causing imported goods to become more expensive. This policy, coupled with the fact that the U.S. federal budget does not address the impending Social Security funding crisis, is causing concern for many Americans.
Limits of Taxing the Wealthy and Higher Taxes on Stock Buybacks
Taxing the wealthy has its limits. In states like New York and California, the top combined federal, state, and local income tax rates now exceed 50%. As a result, the well-off are leaving in droves. Furthermore, higher taxes on stock buybacks, as proposed by Biden, is not ideal. Businesses need to have the flexibility of returning more profits to shareholders for reinvestment in emerging industries. Taxing the recirculation of capital only serves to reduce innovation, productivity, growth and promote inflation.
Critical Skills Shortages and Immigration Reform
The U.S. currently faces a shortage of skilled workers in critical areas such as nursing. Immigration reform could potentially help alleviate this issue but instead, Biden imposes horrendous wait times at hospital emergency rooms on Americans.
Lack of Strategic Thinking from Trump’s Administration
While Donald Trump managed to achieve stronger economic growth in the years leading up to COVID by cutting taxes and deregulating, his administration was unable to pass vital infrastructure or immigration bills. Moreover, various issues such as healthcare and education were left to fester. His former attorney general, William Barr, even stated that Trump “does not have the discipline. He does not have the ability for strategic thinking and linear thinking or setting priorities or how to get things done in the system.”
Americans are weary of political tensions and culture wars. The electorate needs a leader with strategic thinking, the ability to prioritize, and pursue policies that promote sustainable economic growth exceptional healthcare systems, and educational opportunities for all.
Ron DeSantis’ Legislative Record is Impressive, but His Cultural Wars Could Be Detrimental for National Leadership
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, boasts an impressive record of accomplishments, including tax cuts, near-universal school choice, paycheck protections, and substantial funding for Everglades restoration. However, his recent war with Walt Disney Co. regarding a ban on discussions about gender identity in schools marks a misjudgment of national leadership capabilities.
Americans are growing weary of culture wars, leading potential contenders like DeSantis to showcase their other skills, such as their ability to counter Democrats like Joe Biden. However, Republicans are vulnerable on abortion, which DeSantis has sought to ban after the sixth week of pregnancy in Florida. Other candidates are not standing out due to their inability to articulate solutions to the nation’s significant fiscal problems and inflation and address pressing issues like immigration or high healthcare and college costs.
In this environment, Nikki Haley stands out among reputable GOP contenders by proposing a vague solution to counter DeSantis’ extreme abortion stance. However, it remains unpopular among educated women voters he will need to secure the White House.
In conclusion, Republicans need to focus on matters that matter most to win over the public. While the GOP presidential candidates unite against Biden, they are yet to show America what they stand for.
Peter Morici is an Economist and Emeritus Business Professor at the University of Maryland and a National Columnist.
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