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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: american rescue plan

How Biden’s Rescue Plan Saved Six Million Small Businesses In 2021

Nearly one year ago, President Joe Biden muscled his landmark pandemic stimulus legislation through a Senate with a razor-thin Democratic majority, despite unanimous Republican opposition. The American Rescue Plan Act revitalized the economy and delivered billions of dollars to struggling small businesses, a new report from the nonprofit Invest in America details.

"Today, many small businesses have been able to stay afloat due in part to the aid delivered through the ARP," Awesta Sarkash, government affairs director of the nonprofit Small Business Majority, said in a statement provided to the American Independent Foundation. "These targeted programs bolstered small businesses during difficult times and provided them with the funding they needed to persevere."

The American Rescue Plan, which became law in March 2021 and allocated $1.9 trillion in federal funding for stimulus checks, unemployment payments, child tax credits, local emergency funding, and more, came at a pivotal time for small businesses, advocates said.

In February of last year, three out of 10 small businesses reported they wouldn't be able to survive the next three months without immediate grant assistance, according to a survey from the Small Business Majority.

The American Rescue Plan also came with critical programs for small business owners like the Paycheck Protection Program, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

The law allocated an additional $280 billion to the PPP loan program, which sent federally guaranteed, no-fee, forgivable loans to keep small businesses afloat by paying expenses like employee benefits, payroll, mortgage or rent payments, utilities, and COVID-19 safety equipment.

While the program was first created to support small businesses under President Donald Trump as part of the 2020 COVID relief law, the CARES Act, a Washington Post analysis of Small Business Administration data later showed that more than half of the money went to big businesses. Last year, however, 96% of PPP loans went to businesses with 20 or less employees, the Invest in America report shows.

Additionally, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant sent out $13.4 billion to about 13,000 theaters and other venues last year to make up for their lost income due to closures during the pandemic.

And the Restaurant Revitalization Fund disbursed $28.6 billion to restaurants with the same goal in mind in 2021. By supporting more than 100,000 restaurants, the fund saved 900,000 workers their jobs, the National Restaurant Association estimated.

Of the restaurant grant recipients, 96% said it likely allowed them to stay in business during the pandemic, and 86% said it permitted them to keep or hire back employees who'd otherwise have been out of a job.

"[In the beginning of 2021], we were seeing a lot of small business owners lay off employees, and most small business owners will tell you that their employees are like family, so it was that much more dire," Sarkash told the American Independent Foundation.

When the pandemic first hit in March of 2020, businesses took a huge blow to their revenues, with lockdowns keeping shoppers at home. But the toll was especially pronounced for small businesses, who were not as prepared to shift their services online or find ways to continue serving customers.

"You could own an independently owned bookstore or hardware store or toy store and you had to close, but somebody could go to Walmart to buy groceries and while there, they could buy books, they could buy clothes, they could buy hardware," Kennedy Smith, a researcher with the advocacy organization Institute for Local Self-Reliance, told the American Independent Foundation.

Experts argue that keeping small businesses up and running is vital for the national economy. The Invest in America report links the ample funding provided to small businesses with a historic economic recovery, which some economists estimate happened at a rate eight times faster than after the Great Recession that ended in 2009. In 2021, the economy added 6.6 million jobs and 5.4 million new private businesses.

"During the shutdown, when people were not able to access their local businesses, I think that made them aware that their local businesses in their community had a huge role to play in keeping our economy afloat," Derek Peebles, executive director of the American Independent Business Council, said in a phone call.

Now, as they mark the first anniversary of the American Rescue Plan's passage, small business advocates want to see more action from Biden to support small businesses.

A few recommendations from Smith include comprehensive training programs for new business owners; affordable operating space; child care services for owners and employees; and minority-owned business development programs to close the racial entrepreneurship gap.

"[The American Rescue Plan] at least helps make small businesses whole from the damage they suffered during the pandemic, but it doesn't do a lot to change the overall environment for small business development," Smith said.

Smith and other small business advocates want continued investments in recognition of small businesses' central role in American civic life.

As Chanda Causer, co-executive director of the organization Main Street Alliance, told the American Independent Foundation: "This investment in sustaining those businesses, it's an investment in the next generation. It's an investment in education and civic life, our public systems, our firefighters — without those things our ecosystem starts to fall apart."

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Resolute Biden Touts Achievements, Promises To Reconnect With Voters

Washington (AFP) - Joe Biden sought to reset his presidency in a marathon press conference Wednesday, vowing to reconnect with voters in his second year and touting what he said were his unprecedented successes.

"Can you think of any other president that's done as much in one year?" Biden asked, ticking off the epic struggle against Covid-19 and trillions of dollars in government funding to save the US economy from pandemic fallout.

"I don't think there's been much on any incoming president's plate that's been a bigger menu than the plate I had given to me," the Democrat said. "The fact of the matter is, we got a lot done."

Speaking on the eve of the anniversary of his inauguration on January 20, 2021, Biden held only the second White House press conference of his presidency -- then surprised many by taking questions for almost two full hours.

At various times combative, joking and meandering into thoughtful musings on everything from the workings of Vladimir Putin's mind to Republican opponents, Biden brushed off criticism over his handling of the pandemic and soaring inflation.

Asked about his approval ratings, which have sunk into the low 40 percent area, Biden was curt.

"I don't believe the polls," he said.

Biden did acknowledge missteps in the 12 months since he took over from Donald Trump, saying it had been "a year of challenges."

These included that he "didn't anticipate" the ferocity of Republican obstruction to his agenda in Congress. On Covid testing capabilities, which continue to struggle to meet demand, he said "we should have done it quicker."

Biden likewise said he understood "frustration" over steadily rising prices, which he blamed on Covid-related supply chain issues.

Fighting inflation will be "hard and take a lot of work."

"It's going to be painful for a lot of people," he said, noting that high prices were being felt "at the gas pump, the grocery stores and elsewhere."

Ukraine Warning

On one of the most traumatic episodes of his presidency -- the chaotic and rushed final withdrawal from the 20-year long Afghanistan war -- Biden said flatly: "I make no apologies."

"There was no way to get out of Afghanistan after 29 years easily," he declared.

The press conference, which defied the widely shared image of Biden as shrinking from contact with the media, focused especially heavily on the looming crisis in Ukraine, where the United States is leading Western efforts to find a diplomatic solution to Russia's military posturing on the border.

Biden said he was ready to meet with Putin and bluntly warned the Kremlin leader that an attack on Ukraine would be "a disaster" for Russia.

However, Biden caused confusion when he appeared to suggest that a small-scale attack by the Russians would prompt much less pushback from the West. The White House quickly issued a statement clarifying that what he meant was that any military invasion would prompt a "severe" response, while non-military aggression, like paramilitary attacks, would be met with a "reciprocal" response.

'Getting Out More Often'

With a State of the Union speech to Congress set for March 1, Biden faces a rapidly diminishing period in which he can engineer a strategy to fight off a Republican comeback at midterm congressional elections this November.

Republicans are forecast to crush his party and take control of the legislature. That risks bringing two years of complete obstruction from Congress, likely including threats of impeachment and a slew of aggressive committee probes.

Trump, who continues to perpetuate the lie that he beat Biden in 2020 and seeks to undermine Americans' faith in their election system, is eyeing a possible attempt at another run at the White House in 2024.

Biden confirmed he wants to run for reelection with Kamala Harris as his vice president again. And he said that while Democrats proved unable to use their razor-thin congressional majority to pass two big priorities -- the Build Back Better social spending bill and election law reforms -- they could instead settle for passing "big chunks" of the failed legislation.

Above all, Biden emphasized his desire to leave the confines of the White House after a year featuring a decidedly light travel schedule.

"Number one: I am getting out of this place more often. I am going to go out and talk to the public," he said.

"I find myself in a situation where I don't get a chance to look people in the eye, both because of Covid and the situation in Washington," he said, describing how he wanted to "connect with people, let them take a measure of my sincerity."

Massive December Job Growth Offers More Evidence Of 'Biden Boom'

The economy added 807,000 private-sector jobs in December, more than double what economists had forecasted, providing more grist for claims that President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan is boosting economic recovery.

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal predicted only modest gains of 375,000 jobs. But the ADP Employment Report, released Wednesday morning by the payroll company, signaled the economy's second-highest private jobs tally since May. Last month, private-sector jobs grew by 534,000.

The White House cheered on the news, pointing to the report as more evidence of a Biden economic boom."December was another month of strong private sector job growth," White House chief of staff Ronald Klain wrote on Twitter. "The American Rescue Plan has bolstered our economy, even in the face of COVID."

Robert J. Shapiro, a columnist for the Washington Monthly who worked as an economics adviser for both the Obama and Clinton administrations, wrote in December that few have noted the "Biden boom," even as Biden has overseen the largest real GDP growth rate in the century. During the first three-quarters of 2021, real GDP increased at almost eight percent annually, compared to an average rate of 2.2 percent growth from 2000 to 2019.

A December report from the Roosevelt Institute found that Biden's signature legislative accomplishment, a $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus bill passed in March called the American Rescue Plan, spurred massive job growth while protecting the economy from the pandemic's worst ill effects.

"We're entering 2022 in a position of a unique economic strength: Six million new jobs — a record number for a new President — have been created since January last," Biden said Monday. "Unemployment is down to 4.2 percent, three years ahead of predictions. New small-business applications are up over 30 percent compared with before the pandemic. And the fastest growth in America in nearly 40 years."

But Republicans continue to hammer Biden on the economy.

"Joe Biden just claimed the U.S. is "entering 2022 in a position of unique economic strength" GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote on Twitter Monday. "The facts: Inflation is highest in 39 years, job growth has stalled, and the supply chain is in crisis."

Some economic experts beg to differ, however. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, cheered the falling unemployment rate in December, saying, "amid improving labor market conditions and very strong demand for workers, the economy has been making rapid progress toward maximum employment."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Biden's COVID-19 Relief Bill Created Millions Of Jobs, Report Confirms

A new report from the Roosevelt Institute found that the American Rescue Plan — the $1.9 trillion spending bill passed by Democrats and signed into law by President Joe Biden in March — blunted some of the worst economic effects of COVID-19.

"There are many achievements to celebrate, from millions more jobs and higher wages to greater economic security and increased worker power," the report's authors, Mike Konczal and Emily DiVito, wrote. "And even better, we avoided the worst-case alternative: the weaker, slower recovery that was projected if the American Rescue Plan (ARP) had not passed, and deeper harm to those who've historically been left behind by past recoveries."

The stimulus package pushed growth beyond government predictions across several categories, including employment, wages, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the report.

Before the stimulus package was passed, the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee predicted a slow, grinding recovery similar to the one that followed the 2008 economic recession. But after the American Rescue Plan went into effect, unemployment rates fell rapidly with the addition of more than 1.3 million jobs. At present, the U.S. economy is rebounding roughly eight times faster than it did after 2008.

The American Rescue Plan has been especially crucial for younger and lower-income workers. Using data from the Atlanta Federal Reserve, the Roosevelt Institute found that workers aged 16 to 24 saw a 9.7 percent wage increase, while the bottom quarter of wage-earners saw a 5.1 percent increase — even when accounting for inflation.

The American Rescue Plan has also benefited American workers more broadly. According to
Arindrajit Dube, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the bottom 70 percent of workers have seen "real wage growth" over the past two years. Given that U.S. wages have remained stagnant for decades, this represents a significant shift in favor of American workers. From 1964 to 2018, the average American hourly wage increased by just two dollars, adjusted for inflation — a paltry 10 percent raise over the course of 54 years.

Other benefits have accrued to the bottom of the economic pyramid.

The Roosevelt Institute's analysis found that, in large part because of the American Rescue Plan, the wealth of the bottom 50 percent of households has grown 63 percent from pre-pandemic levels. Now, the bottom half of Americans collectively own $3 trillion.

Despite these wins for American workers, staggering levels of wealth inequality persist. The wealthiest one percent controls more than $42 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. Still, the American Rescue Plan has given economic relief to millions of U.S. households, many of whom were struggling long before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In 2018, 40 percent of Americans said they would struggle to cover an unexpected $400 expense, the Federal Reserve found.

As a result of this newfound economic security, workers are now better positioned to find new and better jobs, according to the Roosevelt Institute's report. The authors point to markers of worker mobility, which are at historic highs. They also argued that workers now have more leverage to fight for better working conditions, with nearly 1,000 strikes and labor actions taking place this year. And data show that workers largely support this resurgent labor movement: fully 68 percent of Americans say they approve of unions, the largest share since 1965.

The report also notes that, according to the International Monetary Fund, the American economy is expected to grow by nearly 8% between 2020 and 2022. This far outpaces the economic growth rates of comparable countries such as Canada, Germany, Japan, and Italy. It even outpaces the IMF's earlier projections for the United States, which had GDP increasing by less than 2% over the same time period.

This sharp uptick in U.S. economic growth is "a direct effect" of the American Rescue Plan, according to the Roosevelt Institute report.

The United States still faces very real challenges, including new coronavirus variants, supply chain issues, and "surprising inflation," the report's authors write. But overall, they argue, the American Rescue Plan's successes "deserve a central place in the story of this recovery. Everything, from rapid job growth on down, was a choice based on prioritizing full employment. That was the right decision."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Arizona's GOP Governor Touts Broadband Expansion His Party Obstructed

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Monday a $100 million investment to expand high-speed broadband internet service in his state — a move that was made possible by the Democrats in the state's congressional delegation.

Ducey said the $100 million investment was made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act, the COVID-19 relief bill President Joe Biden signed into law back in March.

Every single one of Arizona's four GOP House members voted against the legislation. And every Democratic member of the state's Congressional delegation — including Arizona's two Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema — voted for it.

"In today's digitally connected world, ensuring access to high-speed internet is key to growing opportunity," Ducey said in a news release. "Today's historic investment will build on the progress of recent years to get even more schools, businesses, tribal communities and homes connected, opening up more opportunities for services like telemedicine and digital learning."

Not a single Republican in either the House or Senate voted for the American Rescue Plan. Included in that funding package — aside from another round of stimulus checks and expanded unemployment benefits — was $350 billion in state and local aid that could go toward upgrades for broadband internet.

The COVID-19 pandemic helped expose the problems Americans face when they don't have access to high-speed internet.

"Stories from the past year made it impossible to ignore how essential broadband is in our daily lives: young students unable to login to their digital classroom; workers without in-home connectivity forced to travel to their job sites; retirees who couldn't video chat with their families; and sick people who couldn't access telehealth services," according to an analysis piece from two Brookings Institute experts.

Congressional Republicans, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, railed against the state and local funding, deeming it a "blue state bailout."

Ducey was not one of the Republicans who railed against providing direct aid to states and had instead asked Congress for relief funds.

However, he has come under fire for how he's allocated the funds, including in August, when he announced that he was giving $163 million in grants from the American Rescue Plan to schools that did not have mask mandates, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to rage. The Treasury Department warned Ducey in October that the way he was selectively giving out funding to schools that defy mask mandates could cause the state to lose recovery funds.

Ducey's bragging over the expansion in broadband internet is yet another instance in which Republicans are taking credit for something they didn't support.

Numerous GOP lawmakers have celebrated or taken credit for things funded by the American Rescue Plan that they didn't vote for.

For example, multiple GOP lawmakers praised a provision in the plan that granted relief to restaurants hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Others, such as New York Republican Reps. Garbarino and Lee Zeldin, took credit for canceled service cuts on the Long Island Rail Road, which was made possible by funds they did not vote for.

It's also possible that Republicans who voted against the infrastructure bill Biden is signing Monday afternoon will take credit for projects it funds. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) wouldn't rule that possibility out in an interview with CNN earlier in November.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

The Inflation Uptick Is No Cause For Alarm

In the annals of American economic policy, the year 2020 will be remembered as a remarkable success. That may sound odd, considering that the economy suffered a seizure that caused unemployment to quadruple almost overnight. But sometimes success is measured less by what is achieved than by what is avoided.

In this case, we avoided a catastrophic collapse that would have caused more misery and hardship than Americans have endured since the Great Depression. The worst pandemic in a century appeared out of nowhere, and economic activity suddenly came to a halt. We were sliding toward a deep, dark abyss.

Today, Americans have worries of a different kind, notably a jump in the inflation rate. In October, the Consumer Price Index was up by 6.2 percent from a year earlier. Republicans have raised the specter of runaway inflation and put the blame on President Joe Biden and his party.

"Why is inflation here?" asked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "Because of the spending of what the Democrats have done. The trillions of dollars." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "It's a direct result of flooding the country with money."There is a kernel of truth in what they say. The federal government did flood the country with money last year — sending three sets of direct stimulus payments to citizens. But lest we forget, Biden was not president last year. Donald Trump was.

The Senate, controlled by the GOP, approved those payments as well as a boxcar load of other expenditures. The first relief measure, passed in March, amounted to a staggering $2.2 trillion. Trump signed another $900 billion package in his final weeks in office.

Those outlays kept millions of Americans from missing meals, losing homes and going bankrupt. But much of the money wasn't spent, because the pandemic kept people out of stores, restaurants, hotels and airports. Much of the money went to build up savings and pay down debt.

As a result, many of us are in a far better position to make purchases now that life has regained a semblance of normality. It's no surprise that prices are higher now than a year before — when vaccines were not available and people were hunkering down to avoid infection. Last year, low demand kept prices down. Today, growing demand is pushing them up.

A jump in prices, however, doesn't mean inflation is here to stay. The October increase was the biggest since 1991. Anyone remember the Great Inflation of the '90s? No, because after the 1991 surge, inflation cooled.

In retrospect, the money delivered to Americans probably exceeded the need. But in 2020, it made sense to err on the side of doing too much. Any sane policymaker, given the choice between a far worse recession last year and higher inflation this year, would have gratefully accepted the latter.

Supply snafus, another product of COVID-19, are pushing prices up by limiting the supply of goods and services. Republicans blame Democrats, arguing that the stimulus checks and supplemental unemployment benefits have sapped many Americans of their willingness to work.

There is a kernel of truth in this argument, too. Unemployed people who are not destitute can afford to be choosier about jobs. But the extra unemployment payments ended, and the cutoff made no difference in labor force participation.

One major factor discouraging work is that the pandemic made many jobs a lot worse. Flight attendants, teachers, retail employees, restaurant servers and other workers who interact with lots of people now have to worry about COVID-19, as well as surly customers who reject vaccines and masks.

No surprise, then, that luring the unemployed back to work requires higher wages. But the pandemic will subside, and when it does, those jobs will look more appealing.

Biden's critics claim that his infrastructure and social spending packages will feed inflation. But those outlays will be spread out over 10 years, unlike last year's pandemic relief. They will also be largely paid for with tax increases, canceling any stimulative effect.

Lately, Americans are feeling the after-effects of last year's public health crisis and the measures taken to address it. The recent inflation spike is one of them. But the pandemic will subside, and as it does, the after-effects will diminish as well.

The economy is not in perfect condition right now. But recalling the potential apocalypse that loomed in March 2020, we should not forget how far we've come.

Follow Steve Chapman on Twitter @SteveChapman13 or at https://www.facebook.com/stevechapman13. To find out more about Steve Chapman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Biden Plan Is About To Boost Jobless Workers And Families With Kids

Republican governors across the country have cut off federal unemployment benefits for millions of people, but Democratic policies are still kicking in to help people struggling in the uneven recovery from the COVID-19 economy. Two parts of the American Rescue Plan going into effect in July provide direct aid to unemployed people and to families with kids.

In just one of the American Rescue Plan's improvements to the Affordable Care Act, on July 1, unemployed people became eligible for additional Affordable Care Act subsidies. "An average of three out of five eligible uninsured Americans can access $0 plans after subsidies are factored in, and an average of four out of five current consumers will be able to select a policy for $10 or less per month, according to the Department of Health and Human Services," CNN reports.

And on July 15, expanded, monthly child tax credit payments start going out to millions of families. The overall child tax credit increased from $2,000 to $3,000, plus an additional $600 for children under six, and because it will be paid monthly, families can factor it into their regular spending, covering things like back-to-school clothes and supplies, paying monthly bills, or paying off debts. According to one recent survey, though, more than 55 percent of people receiving the credit plan to save it—a move that can cushion families against future instability due to job loss, medical bills, or other unexpected expenses.

It's estimated that the expanded child tax credit will cut child poverty by 45 percent. Currently, the parents with the lowest incomes don't get all of the existing child tax credit—in fact, 10 percent of kids get nothing. That's not true of the new policy.

After getting monthly payments through the end of 2021, families will get an additional lump sum when they file their taxes in 2022. Families that saw an income increase in 2021 over the 2019 or 2020 tax returns used to calculate the tax credit may not get that lump sum if the IRS determines they weren't eligible for the full credit in 2021; a few families with large income jumps may have to repay some of what they got in monthly payments. You can check out this calculator to find out if you're eligible for monthly payments, and how much. Families that don't want monthly payments can opt out. Unfortunately, the process will be much more complicated for families that don't file taxes, since the new IRS tool for them to sign up is generally seen as a user-unfriendly mess. Nonetheless, the money is out there, and parents and guardians of children 17 and younger should make sure to get it.

The combined impact of these two policies is that a jobless parent of two children whose $300 a week federal unemployment supplement has just been cut by their Republican governor could now be getting free health care and $500 to $600 a month in child tax credit checks. These American Rescue Plan provisions are a step toward what the U.S. safety net should look like all the time, not just during a massive global pandemic.

As Job Growth Doubles, Republicans Insist Biden ‘Failed’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Republicans spent Friday morning attacking President Joe Biden over the latest jobs numbers, suggesting the figures, which were slightly lower than predicted, constituted a failure.

The U.S. economy in fact added 559,000 jobs in May — more than double the number added the month before. The improving employment data comes as new unemployment claims have dropped to new pandemic lows in recent weeks, in the wake of Biden's American Rescue Plan and a successful COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Though the new job totals were slightly below the economists' predictions of around 650,000 new jobs, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent — better than those same economists' 5.9 percent expectation.

House Republicans tried to spin this progress as a great disappointment.

"Economy falls short of expectations with 559,000 jobs added in May," the official House Republican twitter account complained.

"As we emerge from the virus, our economy should be booming, but today's lackluster jobs report shows President Biden's policies have stalled our recovery," wrote House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "Bidenomics is bad for America."

"Yet again, President Biden's jobs report misses the mark - further proof that the Democrats' socialist economic agenda DOES NOT WORK," Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the House Republican Conference chair, tweeted.

"Joe Biden's economy misses again," tweeted Colorado Rep. Ken Buck. "This is what happens when you disincentivize work."

"The May jobs report missed the mark by 100k jobs. Enough is enough," saidRep. Barry Moore of Alabama. "It's time for Biden to stop incentivizing unemployment and get Americans back to work."

Without evidence, Republicans blamed disappointing April jobs numbers — added employment of just 266,000 — on the $300-a-week emergency unemployment insurance payments provided under Biden's American Rescue Plan, suggesting they were somehow encouraging workers to stay home.

But William Spriggs, the AFL-CIO's chief economist, noted that was not actually happening. "Labor force flow data show we are in a steady pattern of unemployed workers being able to land jobs. The early exits last Spring reflected the large share of temporary layoffs," he wrote. "The flat trend shows there is nothing related to UI benefit supplement changes."

After strong job growth under President Barack Obama, Donald Trump saw a net loss of about 3 million jobs during his term — the worst numbers since Herbert Hoover. While Trump presided over job growth prior to the coronavirus and its resulting economic shutdown, even his best month pre-pandemic was just 378,000 new jobs (in February 2018).

Biden has already regained a substantial number of the jobs Trump lost: more than 2.1 million in just four months.

He has also proposed an American Jobs Plan which would create and sustain millions more jobs over the next decade. Republicans have objected to it, instead offering just a small fraction of the new investments in infrastructure Biden requested.

Despite sustained GOP attempts to label Biden a failure, the American public is simply not buying it. A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, released last Monday, found that 62 percent approve of his job performance and the same number approve of his handling of the economy.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.