” Neoliberalism never worked .” It is not usual to hear such a phrase from a president of the United States and, less before both houses of Congress, but that is what Joe Biden said last night when proposing a new social contract for Americans.
About to complete his first 100 days in the White House , the Democrat proposed the largest expansion of the welfare state in the last half century , a battery of proposals that reserve the responsibility of the Government to act as a catalyst for the economy and aspire to relaunch the impoverished middle class .
Biden put six trillion worth of public investments on the tableof dollars, four times the gross domestic product of Spain, with which it intends to take advantage of the crisis to reshape the country.
Biden was returning to Congress 48 years after being sworn in as Senate for the first time and more than three decades after his first attempt to win the presidency, a testament to the tenacity of a politician who has surprised locals and strangers with his ambition. and the social democratic bias at the start of his term in office.
“I’m glad to be back, it’s almost like coming home,” said the 78-year-old veteran manager. The pandemic forced a reduction in capacity, which was only 200 guests, far from the thousand of legislators and personalities who regularly attend State of the Union speeches , even though it was not called that, since Biden has not yet been completed his first year in office.
Another novelty was thattwo women chaired the joint session : the vice president, Kamala Harris, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi , an unusual milestone in the history of the country .
Biden seized the moment to proclaim that “America is back” after having overcome the worst ravages of the coronavirus . ” America is ready to take off . We go back to work, we go back to dreaming, we rediscover and lead the world,” said the Democrat in perhaps the most optimistic speech of his term, peppered with patriotism and a hand out to the Republicans , no matter how much. do not let your pulse tremble to legislate without your support.
He took his breast from the 220 million vaccines administered during his first three months in power, from the collapse of mortality among those over 65 years of age or from those economic forecasts that ensure that hisThe country will grow this year at the fastest rate since 1983 .
“We look into the abyss of insurrection and autocracy , of pandemic and pain, but ‘We the people’ did not back down,” he said, referring to the assault on the Capitol by Donald Trump’s followers on January 6. “I have never had so much confidence in the US.”
In Biden’s worldview, which he restated last night, his country is in a dogfight competition with China and other authoritarian regimes to lead the new century. And the time has come for democracies to show that they are capable once again of fulfilling what they promise to their citizens, no matter how difficult it is to reach consensus or how polluted the political discourse is.
Competition with authoritarian regimes
” We have to show that democracy works , that our government still works and can bring results to the people.” To achieve this, Biden aspires to invest massively in infrastructure, education and the fight against climate change , plans with which it aspires to create millions of jobs and launch a new era of innovation.
He wants to pay it off with one of the biggest and richest corporate tax hikes in a long time, a full-blown paradigm shift. “Economic neoliberalism never worked. The time has come to lift the economy from below and from the center,” said the president.
Beyond insisting on his plans to rebuild bridges and highways , extend broadband across the country, or fill gas stations with electric charging stations, Biden broke down his latest proposal focused on families .
Among other things, it aims to put an end to that anomaly that makes American workers the only ones in the industrialized world who are not guaranteed paid sick leave and personal business . He also wants to finance two years of free tuition at public universities or guarantee childcare from the age of three, proposals that could depend on Republican support in Congress.
The thing did not end there because Biden also asked conservatives for cooperation to deal with police abuses , reform the immigration system or toughen the laws against guns , always pending issues and with an almost impossible path in the Capitol.
Less space occupied foreign policy in his speech, relegated by the economy and the pandemic at the beginning of his term. The democrat relaunched his country’s commitment to human rights and, with various allusions to China and Russia, stressed that, although he does not seek confrontation with his geopolitical rivals, he will firmly defend the interests of the United States.