PART 1: THE ECONOMY
By ED FINKELSTEIN
In his bold, impactful State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden “… puts working people first. Instead of catering to the wealthy and well-connected, the President declared that workers are America’s backbone and good union jobs are the keystone of an economy that works for all,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler.
And to make that point, President Biden introduced union iron worker Saria Gwin-Maye, a member of Cincinnati Iron Workers Local 44, who will be working on one of the major bridges across America that now will be repaired as a result of the Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“We are writing the next chapter in the great American story, a story of progress and resilience,” the President said noting the following accomplishments over the past two years (partial list) that have boosted our economy from the doldrums of the previous administration:
- 12 million new jobs, “more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years.”
- Unemployment rate at 3.4 percent, a 50-year low with near record low unemployment for Black and Hispanic workers.
- Creation of 800,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs, the fastest growth in 40 years. “Where is it written that America can’t lead the world in manufacturing again” the President stressed.
- A record 10 million Americans applied to start a new small business.
- CHIPS and Science Act will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the country as firms have announced more than $300 billion in investments in American manufacturing.
- Inflation has fallen every month for the last six months; take-home pay is up. Gas prices – down $1.50 a gallon; food inflation is coming down.
- Caps out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare at a maximum $2,000 per year. If drug prices rise faster than inflation, drug companies will have to pay Medicare back the difference.
- Caps insulin at $35 a month for seniors on Medicare.
- Millions are saving $800 a year on their healthcare premiums.
- Tackling the climate crisis will lower utility bills, create new American jobs and lead the world to a clean energy future (providing tens of thousands of jobs for IBEW members).
- Helping families save more than $1,000 a year with tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and energy-efficient appliances.
- Cracking down on wealthy tax cheats will reduce the deficit by $114 billion.
- Already cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion — the largest deficit reduction in American history. Under the previous administration, America’s deficit went up four years in a row setting a new record; no president has added more to the national debt in any four years. Nearly 25 percent of the entire national debt, a debt that took 200 years to accumulate, was added by the previous administration alone.
OTHER MAJOR WINS
- Building 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across America.
- Cut shipping costs by 90 percent, helping American farmers, businesses, and consumers.
- Reduced student debt and increased Pell Grants for working and middle-class families.
- Doubled down on prosecuting criminals who stole relief money meant to keep workers and small businesses afloat during the pandemic, recovering billions of taxpayer dollars.
- Enhanced immigration controls with a record number of personnel working to secure the border, arresting 8,000 human smugglers and seizing over 23,000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months; unlawful migration from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela has come down 97 percent.
UNITING AGAINST AGGRESSION
- After Russia’s Ukraine invasion united NATO and built a global coalition to stand against Vladimir Putin’s aggression. “We will stand with you as long as it takes,” President Biden said.
About this series
In the hyperbole that abounds in Washington where Republicans are constantly using smokescreens and outright lies to downplay the Biden Administration’s accomplishments, President Joe Biden used his State of the Union speech Feb. 7 to outline the Democrats’ incredible accomplishments the past two years.
In this series we highlighted the administration’s accomplishments:
• Part 1 – improving our economy, deficit reduction, fighting inflation, uniting the world against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
• Part 2 – Fight for equality, fairness, protecting the vote and most importantly to our readers, his incredible infrastructure package that funded more than 20,000 projects that includes over 2,000 projects in Missouri and Illinois.
• Part 3 – Successful efforts at creating jobs, protecting workers’ rights and defending Democracy.
• Part 4 – Meeting the challenges of health care and America’s challenges around the globe.