The ambitious proposal set forth by President Joe Biden last week in his speech to a joint session of Congress has elicited the usual negative response from the usual suspects.
However, those who oppose Biden’s $2 trillion plan to invest in America and its people display a total ignorance of history, specifically, the New Deal.
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies raised the wrath of Republicans who, similar to Republicans today, claimed that the New Deal would cost too much and that it was tantamount to socialism.
But the reality of what the New Deal achieved dramatically transformed American life in countless ways and launched America onto its trajectory to becoming the greatest nation on earth. Among the highlights of the New Deal were:
— The New Deal lifted millions of Americans out of poverty, especially older Americans via Social Security;
— The New Deal gave power to labor unions, thereby leveling the playing field with corporate America and creating the great American Middle Class;
— The New Deal enacted necessary government regulation that reined-in the excesses of Wall St. and the banks that had brought the Great Depression; and
— The New Deal included much-needed investment in our infrastructure, including countless projects that still stand today in communities across the country.
The obvious benefits to the nation of the New Deal encouraged policy-makers to enact other programs of investment in America over the next to 40 more years under Democrats and Republicans alike, including the GI Bill (Truman), the national highway system (Eisenhower), Medicare (Johnson), and the Environmental Protection Agency (Nixon).
During this time frame, corporations paid their fair share of taxes, individual tax rates were much higher, and income-inequality was non-existent (by today’s standards). America was the unquestioned leader of the world.
Today however, thanks to the shortsighted policies of the past 40 years (beginning with Reagan and abetted by Democrats) that have been highlighted by corporate welfare, excessive military spending, ever-increasing wealth and income inequality, and underinvestment in our people and our infrastructure, America has become the equivalent of a Third World country in many respects.
In short, America has gone from first to worst.
President Joe Biden’s speech laid out a path to restore America to our former greatness.
To those who say that we cannot afford the Biden Deal, our response is simple: We can’t afford not to.