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A year to Biden's tenure: Expectations were high, but the results are disappointing - Walla! news


The president promised to unite America after Trump's tumultuous tenure, but found it difficult to realize it due to a variety of challenges - from the corona and climate to Afghanistan, Russia, China and Iran. His situation in the polls is dismal, and in November there will be a midterm election in which Democrats may lose control of Congress

A year in Biden's tenure: Expectations were high, but the results were disappointing

The president promised to unite America after Trump's tumultuous tenure, but found it difficult to realize it due to a variety of challenges - from the corona and climate to Afghanistan, Russia, China and Iran.

His situation in the polls is dismal, and in November there will be a midterm election in which Democrats may lose control of Congress

Prof. Eitan Gilboa


Tuesday, 18 January 2022, 17:27

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The administration has failed to meet many of the goals it has set for itself.

Biden and Harris (Photo: Reuters)

A year ago, Joe Biden entered the White House in a difficult and unprecedented situation.

His predecessor, Donald Trump, rudely shattered traditional conventions, rejected the election results with false allegations that they were falsified, called on his supporters to storm Congress to prevent the results from being approved, did not hand over power to Baiden, did not attend the traditional coronation ceremony and continues to challenge legitimacy Of the President.

Biden has had to deal with a divided society, waves of the corona boot, a faltering economy, a climate crisis, a narrow majority in Congress and political disagreements with Republicans and wings of his own party.

After a year, it became clear that he had not been able to meet many of the goals he had set for himself and that the public was not satisfied with his performance.

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Society and politics

Biden said he would bridge the rifts in American society. He failed, both because Republicans did not cooperate with him and because of extremism in his Democratic Party. Despite his failure in the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, Trump has not lost his grip on the Republican Party and is still gaining much support. Evidence of this can be found in his success in ousting Liz Cheney from the important position of chairman of the Republican faction in the House of Representatives

. "Labibism" in the country. In both cases it is an almost mystical grip of the leader on his party and his supporters. Throughout the year, Trump's people in all political and social circles have attacked Biden and the Democrats very sharply.

Biden encounters opposition to his policies from two wings of his party, the one that calls itself "progressive" and conservative.

The progressives led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and a group of deputies in the House of Representatives calling themselves the "gang," have increased their representation in Congress and are pressuring Biden to adopt their extremist philosophy, and radically change the American regime.

Dealing with the climate crisis is a good example of their failing extremism.

Continues to challenge Biden's legitimacy.

Trump (Photo: Reuters)

Unlike Trump, Biden sees the climate crisis as a serious threat and is trying to deal with it.

It has strengthened the federal Environmental Protection Agency, halted the Keystone oil pipeline project, which was to flow oil from Alberta in Canada through the Midwest of the United States to the city of Houston in the south, and returned the United States to international frameworks trying to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

He desperately wanted to attend the important international climate conference held in Glasgow in November with the "Climate Law" he initiated, but the progressives failed him because they thought he was not far enough.

The progressives and conservatives also made it difficult for him in critical economic matters.

Economy and epidemic

Biden inherited a deteriorating economy and planned to rehabilitate it through large federal budgets. The total budget for 2022 was set at six trillion dollars with a deficit of 1.8 trillion. It reflected Biden's economic vision of "Build Back Better". The program is designed to strengthen the working class and the middle class, to renew infrastructure, to increase the socio-economic safety net, and to reduce income inequality.

Biden wanted to balance big spending by raising taxes for the rich and wealthy. The President of the United States cannot allocate one cent without the approval of Congress. There is a tie in the Senate with each party having 50 senators. In the event of a tie, the Democratic Vice President, who chairs the Senate, decides by a landslide. The House of Representatives has a relatively small majority of ten votes (222 to 212).

Biden planned to allocate $ 1.2 trillion for the renewal of physical infrastructure including roads, bridges, railroads, ports and the like.

Republicans opposed the budget as one man.

Democratic progressives have pledged their support for a significant additional budget for "social" infrastructure.

Biden was forced to agree and it was determined that this budget would be discussed later.

The progressives demanded a budget of 2.2 trillion for social issues.

Conservative Democrats, Sen. Joe Menshin of West Virginia and Sen. Kirsten Cinema of Arizona came into the picture here.

They agreed to support only half of that amount.

Without them it would have been impossible to obtain a majority in the Senate and an unresolved legislative tangle was created.

Manshin also opposed raising taxes for companies from 21% to 28% and is only willing to raise it to 25%.

Biden's economic metrics are better than what has been heard in political debates and in the media.

The unemployment rate in 2021 fell from 6.3% to 3.9%.

Gross domestic product rose by about 8%.

The average wage has risen by 6% and the minimum wage per hour of work in many countries has risen by about 10%.

In contrast, inflation rose by 7%, the highest rate since 1982. This increase largely offset wage increases.

The national debt has risen to almost $ 27 trillion and the foreign trade deficit has risen to about $ 800 billion, 30% more than in 2020.

The plague has intensified, and Biden seems to be losing control of it.

Corona vaccines in New York (Photo: AP)

Trump's treatment of the corona plague was dismissive and outrageous.

The expectation was that Biden would change the situation fundamentally.

He did instruct doctors and scientists to listen, wear masks, restrict gatherings, intensify medical services, organize mass vaccination campaigns and help the weaker sections receive medical care.

His policies have suffered from the bruises of Republican governors in many countries, and from bad luck with the advent of the Delta and Omicron strains.

As in the country, after a relatively calm summer, the plague intensified and Biden seemed to be losing control.

Foreign relations

Naturally, Biden was forced to give priority to domestic affairs and dealing with health, social and economic crises, but also declared "that the United States is returning to the world." He tried to completely reverse Trump's foreign and security policy. He advocated multilateral diplomacy, close cooperation with traditional allies, including the restoration of relations with the powers of Western Europe, Germany, Britain and France. Return to work with the UN and international organizations. Like many democratic governments, he has placed the protection of civil rights high on the priorities of his foreign policy.

Like his predecessors, Obama and Trump, Biden has defined China as the United States' main rival. He criticized China for abolishing democracy in Hong Kong, the massacre of Muslim Uyghurs, the threats to Taiwan, building bases on islands in the South China Sea, supporting North Korea, and striving for world influence through huge loans and infrastructure investments. Obama has already wanted to divert most of the United States' attention to Asia, but ISIS occupations in Syria and Iraq have disrupted the plan.

Biden has been trying to revive it, most recently, through strategic alliances designed to restrain China: one that includes the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom (AUKUS) and the other, the "Quartet", which includes the United States, Australia, India and Japan. The two powers.

Biden criticized Putin for suppressing opposition to his rule, interfering in US elections, occupying the Crimean peninsula and military threats to Ukraine.

There have been gaps between the United States and the European Union regarding the policy to be pursued towards China and Russia and the question of whether it is wise to confront both at the same time.

The withdrawal damaged his image.

Biden and his wife are waiting for the coffins of soldiers killed in Kabul (Photo: Reuters)

Biden's biggest failure in foreign affairs was the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. Indeed, the military presence of the United States there has failed and its continuation has been seen as futile. The American public supported the exit but was amazed at the failed way it was done. The sights of thousands of Afghans trying to hang on every plane that took off from Kabul airport reminded me of similar images from the hasty U.S. evacuation from Saigon in 1975.

Biden erred in assessing the balance of power between the government army and the Taliban and the result was a collapse and a rapid resurgence of the Taliban over Afghanistan. The withdrawal has severely damaged the international standing of the United States and Biden's image.

Another tough test for Biden was and remains how to stop Iran's race for nuclear weapons. Here, too, he reversed Trump's policy that came out of the agreement signed by Obama in 2015. The Biden administration started with high expectations but deteriorated to poor results. It started with a new nuclear deal that would be broader, longer-term and tighter than Obama's; It will address the Iranian violations of the 2015 agreement, and issues that did not appear in the original agreement, such as Iran's missile program and military interventions across the Middle East.

But after indirect talks were opened in Vienna between the parties and Iran announced that it would not discuss any new issue, and demanded first of all to lift all sanctions imposed on it, the administration has already announced that a return to the 2015 agreement will provide it. From there there was another retreat. From an agreement that used to be "more and more", it is now about "less for less". The results of the negotiations in Vienna are not yet known, but it is quite likely that in the end the powers will reach a partial agreement that could challenge Israel.

Biden's goal this year is to prevent discrimination in the midterm elections

Biden has created high expectations from his presidency that comes after a turbulent period for Trump, one of the wildest and most controversial presidents in the history of the United States.

The public expected it to calm the political system, reduce social divisions and deal effectively with crises and difficult challenges.

He was not so successful.

His results in both domestic and foreign affairs are mixed and in some cases disappointing.

In less than a year, there will be a midterm election to Congress, and Democrats fear they will lose the meager current control they have over the Senate and House of Representatives.

This election is a kind of referendum on the president's achievements.

The public is not happy with Biden's performance. It started with a high popularity rate of close to 58% but recent polls point to a drop of close to 42%. This is one of the sharp declines in a president's first term. The public gives Baiden very negative scores for its economic policies, its handling of the corona crisis, immigration and foreign policy. The Democrats in Congress received even more negative scores, with only about 30% satisfied with them and about 60% dissatisfied.

Biden entered the White House at the oldest age in U.S. history. At the end of his first term he will be 82. There is talk of his cognitive weaknesses. He said he would run for a second term. Not many believe him. His deputy, Kamla Harris, was not involved enough and she does not seem a suitable candidate to replace him. He will have to work hard in his second year to show achievements and change the negative trends recorded for his duty and prevent discrimination in the 2022 congressional elections.

Prof. Gilboa is an expert on the United States at Bar-Ilan University and a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Defense.

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Source: walla

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