Let me begin this post with an admission: I am older than Joe Biden, so I know a little something about the diminishing energy levels that accompany aging. I sometimes (okay, often) blank on words. On the other hand, I have a significant well of life experience to draw on, and so far, at least, I’m reasonably confident that the lessons of that lifetime have more than compensated for the relatively minor deficits of aging.
And I am over the constant media handwringing about Biden’s age.
Sure, given the challenges of aging, I wish Biden was younger–but after looking at what he has accomplished over the past three years by drawing on his lifetime of political and governmental experience, I realize that significant trade-offs would be involved. (Unlike Trump–who is only 4 years younger– Biden spent his time acquiring the knowledge and skills that have made him a very consequential President.)
In the last three years, America’s economy has added more than 13 million jobs—including nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs. We’ve unleashed a manufacturing and clean energy boom. In 2021 and 2022, more than 10 million applications were filed for new small businesses—the strongest two years ever recorded. Since the pandemic, America has had the strongest growth of any leading economy in the world. Inflation has fallen for 11 straight months.
As my middle son observed, “Biden is the first President I’ve voted for who has exceeded my expectations.”
And as an article in the New Republic argues, there needs to be more recognition of the skills Biden brought to the job.
Nobody seems to have noticed this, but over the course of the spring, the country’s four leading freight rail carriers agreed to grant the vast majority of their workers paid sick days.
Everybody remembers what happened last December. The workers threatened to strike over such days, among other issues. President Biden, generally very friendly toward labor, made it illegal for the workers to strike. He was criticized by unions and workers and fellow Democrats and liberal media outlets, this one included….
When the workers prevailed, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers explicitly acknowledged that the Biden administration had
played the long game on sick days and stuck with us for months after Congress imposed our updated national agreement. Without making a big show of it, Joe Biden and members of his administration in the Transportation and Labor departments have been working continuously to get guaranteed paid sick days for all railroad workers.
As the article argued, the administration needs to start “making big show” of such accomplishments.
Biden has been a terrific president. The big legislation. The way he played Kevin McCarthy on the debt deal. The global leadership against Putin. The plain human decency restored to the White House after four years of self-obsessed thuggery. Oh—the 13 million jobs created since he took office, which is more jobs in 28 months than created under any other president, in all of our history, in a full four-year term.
As Jennifer Rubin recently wrote in the Washington Post, Biden has an economic record that has been working far better than most people anticipated but that the electorate doesn’t yet recognize.
The economy has created 13 million jobs, inflation has been more than cut in half, huge investments are being made in infrastructure and green energy, wage growth has begun to outpace inflation, the first drug price controls are going into effect and the biggest corporations will finally be forced to pay something in federal taxes. Yet polls show voters incorrectly think we are in a recession and remain negative about the economy.
As Robert Hubbell recently reminded us, “The constant hum of investigations into Trump’s many crimes is obscuring one of the great modern presidencies.”
Historians will look back in wonder at what Biden achieved in a presidency that began mid-pandemic before the smoke of a failed coup and insurrection had cleared. Despite those obstacles, his legislative record rivals or exceeds that of every president since FDR—a president who was mired in controversy throughout his tenure.
The Biden Administration has a three-part vision: targeting investment, empowering workers, and promoting competition. That vision includes enforcing antitrust rules and allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. (Recent results: cheaper insulin and real wage growth.)
As the New Republic reminds us,
Liberals have a list of 50 things they want government to do, and they want those things done fast and to completion. Conservatives have a list of about two things they want government to do: Cut taxes, and punish people they disapprove of morally. For a presidential administration, satisfying that first group is a lot harder than satisfying the second
As someone has pointed out, It’s not how old you are. It’s how you are old.