President Joe Biden addressed the U.S. Congress and the American people for the first time on March 1st, 2022 on the eve of an unprecedented era in history: a war on the European continent, the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and infrastructure were among many of the issues that President Biden discussed. Biden addressed the American people as a sincere friend, extolling sympathy to the American people. He outlined the progress that his administration had made during his first year in office, and earnestly layed out policy solutions to the challenges brought about by current events.
President Biden began by addressing the war in Ukraine. It is apparent that this era in global politics will be characterized by the battle between authoritarianism and democracy, and democracies are rising to the occasion. Biden lauded President Volodymyr Zelenski and the Ukrainian people for their bravery in the wake of the dire conflict that threatens Ukrainian sovereignty. Biden’s international leadership has convinced allies and many neutral nations alike to impose sanctions on Russia. These are widely considered the most aggressive sanctions ever enacted. International efforts to condemn Putin's aggression have sent the Russian economy into chaos as the value of its Ruble tumbled into obscurity. Biden has authorized the Justice Department to seize all assets, including yachts, luxury apartments, and private jets from Russian Oligarchs, the industry barons who hold distinct authority within the Russian government through their connections and wealth.
Biden then highlighted achievements in legislation. The American Rescue Plan led to 4 million more jobs, a 2% reduction in unemployment, and improved GDP growth by 2.7 percent. With the Biden-Harris economy creating 6.6 million jobs, 375,000 in manufacturing, and spurring the fastest growing GDP in nearly 40 years, this economic progress is an achievement for the middle class.
Biden also addressed the important issue of inflation, which is robbing families of any gains, saying “my top priority is getting prices under control.” Biden’s plan has 4 steps to reduce the cost of living in America:
- Cut the cost of prescription drugs. For example, cap the price of insulin at $35 per month.
- Cut energy costs by an average of $500 per year by weatherizing homes, incentivising clean energy production, and lowering the price of electric vehicles.
- Cut the cost of childcare for most families in half.
- Will not increase taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 per year.
Biden also stressed making the economy more competitive. Corporate greed is central to the cause of our current inflation problems: the lack of competition in our markets allows corporations to charge more without the fear that consumers would switch to a cheaper alternative. President Biden has proposed a global 15% minimum tax rate so that corporations can’t find tax shelters abroad. Biden’s new tax proposal is built around fairness. Biden is proposing to close the loopholes that allow the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying taxes. Biden has instructed the Justice Department to go after entities that misused pandemic relief funds.
On Covid, President Biden addressed an exhausted nation on four common steps to move forward safely. First, is to keep America protected with vaccines and treatments. He announced the “Test to Treat” initiative which gives covid-positive people free antiviral pills. Second, is to prepare for new variants, and be ready within 100 days of a new variant to deploy vaccinations. Third, to end the shutdown of schools and businesses because we have the tools to go on safely.
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