3 key takeaways from Biden's big speech

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  one week ago  •  11 comments

By:   Joel Mathis (theweek)

3 key takeaways from Biden's big speech

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Performances like the one he gave on Wednesday will make it difficult for Republicans who so badly want to paint Biden as a radical. Indeed, Biden's mild manner — conservatives have called it "sleepy" — helps protect him from these charges.

Here are three observations from the president's big speech:

Biden is thinking big. If the tone of the speech was quiet and personal, the ideas were big and transformative: proposals to spend billions upon billions of dollars to create jobs, support young families, and expand affordable access to both health care and education. In the first 100 days of his term, Biden and Democrats in Congress have already done much to expand the breadth and scope of the federal government, but so much of that has been done on a one-off basis, necessitated and made possible by the COVID-19 pandemic and floundering economy. After a generation of watching Democratic presidents genuflect toward the legacy of Ronald Reagan, Biden's willingness to put his credibility on the line for such proposals is still fairly astonishing.

Biden also made clear he isn't afraid of waging a little bit of class warfare in the service of accomplishing his agenda, proposing to raise taxes on corporations and individuals making more than $400,000 a year, and pointing out that gains from the Republican tax cut of 2017 went mostly to the wealthy without creating benefits for most workers.

"When you hear someone say that they don't want to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent and on corporate America, ask them, 'Whose taxes are you going to raise instead, and whose are you going to cut?'" he said.

After a career as a moderate, Biden sure sounded a lot like the Occupy Wall Street movement, if only for a moment.

He isn't afraid of a little culture war. One of Biden's great political strengths over the last couple of years has been to avoid weighing in on every little controversy that springs up on Twitter and Facebook. This has let him stay above the fray, while again offering a clear contrast to his very online predecessor, who always seemed to be in the middle of every burgeoning controversy.

But on Wednesday, the president showed he is willing to take up the fight when and where he deems necessary. With Republican state legislatures across the country passing legislation aimed at limiting the rights of transgender youngsters to play sports or get appropriate medical care, Biden took a side. "To all the transgender Americans watching at home — especially the young people who are so brave — I want you to know that your president has your back," he said. The moment served as a reminder of his own role, a decade ago as vice president, in helping push then-President Obama to come out in public support of gay marriage.

Smaller audiences are better. Technically, Wednesday's speech was not a State of the Union address — but it served the same form and function. Those speeches can be tiresome, because the president isn't the only person in the room performing for the television audience: Lawmakers rise in applause dozens of times during a speech to signal their support for mundane proposals, while others sit stiffly to demonstrate their disapproval. Every once in a while, the most memorable moment of a big presidential speech comes from the audience — Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouting "you lie!" at Obama, or Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito grimacing in disagreement with the president a year later, or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ripping up the text of Donald Trump's speech in 2020.

With the crowd on Wednesday limited to just 200 people thanks to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, that nonsense was minimal. Biden sped through the applause breaks, and even skipped the portion of the speech where he recognized the guests of First Lady Jill Biden, who recognized some virtual "guests" during a reception earlier in the day. The result: A fairly lengthy speech was made just a bit more bearable.

Was it memorable, though? That will depend on how many of the big ideas in Biden's speech become reality. The filibuster still exists, and so does McConnell's penchant for dashing Democratic hopes on the rocks. If Biden and his party can find a way past these obstacles, Wednesday night's speech will go down in history as the start of something significant.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    one week ago

There is really only one issue for Biden and the Democrats. How to present their ideas for more government spending in a way that will appeal to "moderates". 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one week ago

They want too much, too quickly. And they've got only about a year to do it. And there aren't enough rich individuals and corporations to tax. They're not going to get everything they want.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one week ago
How to present their ideas for more government spending in a way that will appeal to "moderates".

If he is NOT looking to give more money to the ultra wealthy or corporations, even moderate Republicans will oppose him.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Participates
2  Snuffy    one week ago

Just like all politicians there are pieces of these bills that I like and some I don't. I wish Congress would do more smaller bills instead of these large all-encompassing bills.  I like the attempt to extend the child tax credit, that is targeted where it will do good rather than giving money to everybody regardless of need.

The smaller audiences to me seemed more theater however. All those vaccinated  politicians all wearing masks and seated for social distancing and when the camera panned left we would see the aids and staff lined up shoulder to shoulder.  Kind of missed the messaging IMO.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
3  Tacos!    one week ago

I’m fine with taxing rich people. Taxing corporations more seems like shooting the whole country in the foot. When rich person gets so mad about his taxes that he moves, it doesn’t have much impact. But if Ford or GE move a factory or their headquarters to another country, it can hurt thousands of Americans and whole sectors of the economy.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
3.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Tacos! @3    one week ago

And....a factoid that the "raise taxes" faction forgets...

from a small business to large corporations...they will always pass their higher costs of doing business on down the line to their customers...

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
3.1.1  pat wilson  replied to  Greg Jones @3.1    one week ago

Fine. Quality of life will still be better. And if they pass too much cost on to the customer the customer won't buy the product/service. Supply and demand.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4  Nerm_L    one week ago

Big ideas cannot overcome the details.  Trick is to abandon the big ideas when they become unworkable.

Joe Biden ignores the increasing burden of state and local taxes with his tax proposals.  The Federal government isn't the only taxing authority in the United States.  The Republican approach to smaller government has shifted taxation to the state and local level.  A Federal tax cut opened the door for state and local tax increases simply because the Federal government was competing for less taxes.  As we've seen with the cap on SALT deductions, blanket Federal tax increases cannot be applied equitably for the country as a whole.  Biden's tax proposals will confront a lot of head wind from state and local governments. 

We aren't living in the 1950s when the overall tax burden was low and Joe Biden trying to revive the past really isn't workable today.  Joe Biden promising not to raise taxes for those earning $400k or less only applies to Federal taxes but taxes collected by the Federal government is only a portion of the overall tax burden.  If the SALT deduction is restored then Biden's tax proposal becomes a bait-and-switch trick attempting to force state and local governments to increase taxes.

Believe it or not, Republicans actually oversaw the largest tax increases in the history of taxation.  Republicans only shifted the tax burden to the state and local level.  The Republican intent was to shrink the Federal government and increase the size of state and local government.  Raising Federal taxes would create an inequitable burden on states and localities with the highest taxes.  Democrats 'fixed' that with SALT deductions.  Restoring the SALT deduction means that Joe Biden's tax proposal simply won't work.

The Federal tax needs to be reformed to make the Federal income tax progressive.  What is needed are more tax brackets at the top with progressive tax rates.  But that isn't what Joe Biden proposes.  Biden is still trying to protect the rich like his neo-liberal predecessors.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
5  Nerm_L    one week ago

Joe Biden pointed to the path forward on gun control but added a poison pill to ensure failure.  Ban high capacity magazines; there isn't a need to ban assault rifles.  Everyone can keep their assault rifle, they just can't own a high capacity magazine.  Biden could propose a Federal buy back program for high capacity magazines and require people to turn in their high capacity magazines.  That doesn't take guns away from anyone.

Personally, I would like to see a limit of five round magazines for all firearms; long guns and hand guns.  People could still own whatever firearm they want but it could only hold six rounds.

Joe Biden wanting to ban assault rifles deliberately poisons the effort for gun control.  Biden knows that.  We've all seen that far too often.  Joe Biden is actually playing politics with people's lives to score political points and do absolutely nothing.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
6  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu     one week ago

IMO: Biden did OK Like many others parts of what the president said I liked some of what he said I do not agree with. 

I like that he is interested in building out the internet to rural areas. I think that is a step in unity. 

I liked in the infrastructure plan its, "Buy American to build America" 

I like the idea of increasing our R and D programs for medicine and other needed future government backed developments.

I like the fact that he recognises and plans to help some of the countries south of us instead of waiting till their people are so desperate that they are standing at our border asking to come in. Or worse NOT asking just waltzing in like they own the damn place.  

I do not like the FREE college crap. I went back to college on my own dime years ago. I watch the free bee students not care and playing lets see who can disrupt the class more BS. 

IF college is free I doubt anyone learns as much as they would IF everyone in the classes has a vested interest in actually learning. 

Reducing the cost but making everyone accountable seems like a much better plan for educating people to me. 

and there was other things Biden said that I don't agree with , But to me that's a good thing. It shows me that no one gets everything they like as is natural when we divide this country up by appx. 33,200,000,000 inhabitants.  

To me IF biden just never tries to overthrow our election, he's already a winner compared to the last disrespectful jackass that just left office slinking away with his tail between his legs. 

That's Just my take on this... jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
7  Nerm_L    one week ago

Joe Biden claimed today's economy is the worst since the Great Depression.  If that is the case, then this Great Depression was imposed onto the country by government at all levels.

Biden's hyperbole points to the dangers of government becoming too intrusive.  The response to the pandemic was a big government program that is little different than the other big government programs Biden is proposing.  Biden may blame the virus but that only highlights that the big government approach didn't deploy solutions.  The big government approach protected the country by killing the economy.  And the United States was still the country most affected by the pandemic.  

Yes, the Federal government is uniquely positioned to do big things just as Joe Biden said.  But the Federal government is also in a position to cause great damage as the response to the pandemic has demonstrated.  Winning the 21st century, as Joe Biden proposes, requires much more than big ideas pursued by big government.  

Winning the 21st century can't be accomplished with big spending, carefully crafted playbooks, or hiring more directors.  The Federal government isn't competing in the marketplace with other countries.  Building the biggest, best government actually fails to compete.  We would be wasting time, effort, and money on unproductive, non-competitive activities.  Winning the 21st century will require controlling government so it only steps in when needed.  Winning the 21st century will require wise government and not big government.

The United States cannot win the 21st century without industry and workers.  That's where attention should be focused.  Big government can assist when needed.  But big government for the sake of big government will mean the United States won't be competing for the 21st century.  Joe Biden's big ideas may actually require the government to step back and stay out of the way.

 
 
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