Ahead of Biden’s State of the Union, here’s how he’s delivered on his priorities so far
“It’s a significant step forward,” said Jonathan Bydlak, director of the governance program at the R Street Institute, a right-leaning think tank, referring to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Bydlak said he didn’t support the infrastructure package, but it should be — yet isn’t — serving as a template for Biden, who “was largely elected to be a moderate.”
“That particular model is what Biden should be doing everywhere that he possibly can,” the R Street expert said. “He got some level of Republican support, it was an issue that a broad number of Americans generally agree with, and it fits with the reason he was elected in the first place.”
Biden a year ago stressed that there would be no tax hikes for people making less than $400,000.
“Strictly speaking, yes, I think he’s probably held to that promise,” R Street’s Bydlak said. Increased spending, however, is making it more likely that the Biden administration or some future administration will “have to go and raise taxes to deal with it.”
One thing that Biden didn’t address in his April 2021 speech was inflation, as his only mention of prices had to do with prescription drugs. Now it’s a hot topic and a problem ahead of November’s midterm elections for Democrats who hold the White House and both congressional chambers, how ever narrowly. Recent data have shown the U.S. rate of inflation at a 40-year high.
“The fact that it wasn’t in the speech tells you all you need to know about how much of a priority it was,” R Street’s Bydlak said. “There’s plenty of blame on both sides to go around here. Majorities in both parties for a long time have basically operated under the assumption that they can spend whatever they want, and there really aren’t going to be consequences from it.”