Biden’s policies are inadequate

President Joe Biden needs to fulfill the promises he made to the American people

Cartoon by Jayne Ogilvie-Russell

Cartoon by Jayne Ogilvie-Russell

When President Joe Biden won the 2020 election, the world seemingly let out a sigh of relief. Democrats enthusiastically proclaimed that America was turning to a new page that would wash away the horrors of four years of President Trump. Biden himself assured the American people that he would lead with morals and empathy-driven values, push to protect those hit hard by the pandemic, combat climate change and restore the U.S. as a trusted figure in the international community.

While these promises gave hope to so many who lost faith in the country during Trump’s disastrous presidency, Biden’s promises are empty words. Two months after his inauguration, the radical change many hoped for from him has been nothing but bare minimum bills and politics as usual in the swamp.

“Joe Biden’s campaign was built on promises of progressive policy, economic reform and common sense environmental legislation,” junior James Ross said. “While that alone would have still been inadequate to meet the challenges our society has set ourselves up for, he has failed on every front to pony up even the most basic of reforms.”

For example, Biden campaigned on establishing a $15 federal minimum wage. According to a Reuters poll, nearly 60% of Americans support the idea. However, in February, when Biden spoke with lawmakers to try and pass the American Rescue Plan, which included a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, he quickly signaled that he was willing to scrap it once there was pushback from Republicans.

While it’s true that adding a measure about a $15 minimum wage in the bill would make it harder to pass, Biden’s quickness to let go of one of his biggest campaign promises is alarming. Additionally, since the bill has passed, there have been no public plans from the president about making the minimum wage increase in the future.

“Clearly, during [Biden’s] campaign, he either fundamentally misunderstood the extent of his capabilities as president or was speaking in bad faith. Neither of those are qualities I like to see in a man holding millions of lives in the palm of his hand,” Ross said.

Instead of fighting to increase the federal minimum wage and combating climate change, Biden did what every modern U.S. President has done so far: unnecessarily get involved in the Middle East.

On February 26th, Biden bombed the Middle East, specifically Syria. The Biden administration sent seven missiles to buildings occupied by Iranian-backed militias in Syria in retaliation for attacks on a U.S. coalition base in Northern Iraq. The strikes by the U.S. killed at least 22 people while the attacks in Northern Iraq killed one and injured eight.

“The bombings in Syria were unnecessary and pointless from a political and military standpoint, and only start to make sense when standing in the shoes of a politician depending on their next campaign donation from a Northrop Grumman-backed think tank for an upcoming election,” Ross said.

From the deadly COVID-19 pandemic to issues with racism and climate change, the U.S. is already facing a tremendous number of domestic problems that need to be handled. Bombing buildings in Syria is counterproductive, constitutes a waste of time and resources and demonstrates a lack of morals. There was no need for Biden to spend his first month and a half in office sending missiles to the Middle East.

Joe Biden claimed he would “Build Back Better” in regards to the nation’s economic recovery, but he decided to waste taxpayer’s money on bombing the Middle East when there were effective ways to rehabilitate the economy that didn’t involve harming other nations.

One of the most important problems facing the nation is climate change. Though Biden is working on rejoining the Paris Agreement and ending construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline, these are the bare minimum.

While this is a good start, there needs to be more. Biden campaigned on saving the climate because he knew it would get him younger voters. Now is the time to actually push for progressive policies that ensure a safer planet by holding oil companies and the fossil fuel industry accountable for its emissions.

After four years of Hurricane Trump, the U.S. deserves more than the bare minimum when it comes to pressing matters. With less than a decade left to cut down on carbon emissions before there are detrimental effects to the environment, Biden needs to focus more seriously on addressing issues concerning climate change.

While it’s easy for some to justify Biden’s inadequacy as being better than Donald Trump’s outright bigotry and lack of political knowledge, this is not a productive argument. Just because Donald Trump is not president does not mean the American people should settle for lackluster decisions and unfulfilled promises. In fact, Democrats and Republicans turning a blind eye to politics as usual—a force that prioritizes special interests and billionaires above all else— is why America never solves problems like healthcare, inequality and housing. Biden needs to be questioned and held accountable for his policy choices by politicians and the American people alike.