President Biden’s challenge to the State of the Union

José López Zamorano | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: The White House / Public domain

President Joe Biden arrived in the doldrums to his State of the Union message on Tuesday, February 7.

A new poll in The Washington Post and the ABC network shows us that 62% of voters believe that Biden has done nothing or almost nothing in the first 2 years of his government. On the other hand, only 36% of the voters give him passing grades in his management as president of the United States.

There is no doubt that President Biden has made undoubted achievements in the White House on both economic and social issues.

Since 2021, millions of new jobs have been created and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4% in January, the lowest in history, in addition to adding more than 300,000 million dollars of investments in infrastructure and achieving legislative approval of the Law CHIPS to boost the production of microprocessors and jobs.

Biden also managed to pass with the Democrats the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which, even though it has done little to reduce inflation, began to channel the largest investment in history in favor of climate justice and against climate change. The law capped drug costs at $2,000 a year for Medicare beneficiaries, who will now only pay $35 a month for insulin.

But that’s not all. President Biden managed to bring Democrats and Republicans closer to passing the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most ambitious in the last 30 years for firearms safety, including criminal background checks for gun buyers under 21 years of age.

And almost a year ago, in March 2022, the president reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act, better known as VAWA, which he had voted for as a senator in 1994 and which had offered legal protection against assault and domestic violence for 28 years but had expired during the Trump era.

But despite this string of achievements, the Washington Post and ABC poll suggests that the public is either not realizing it or not appreciating it.

6 in 10 Americans feel that Biden has not created more jobs in his communities; another 6 out of 10 believe that he has not improved roads or bridges; and 5 out of 10 think that he has not been able to lower the cost of medicines.

All of which suggests that the president has a daunting communication task to make to the public, and particularly adult voters, aware of his agenda and his accomplishments.

For now, the White House has already scheduled Biden’s imminent visits to Wisconsin and Florida to discuss his economic plan, as well as social security and Medicare protections. Other officials will do the same. There is still time to regain credibility, but it would have to be a systematic, tireless, and daily effort.