Daily Column – 20th January 2022

It’s been a year since Bernie Sanders’ mittens took over our social media feeds. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on this day last year.

How is he going? Take a quick spin.

During his time in office, the unemployment rate has dropped from 14.8 percent to 3.9 percent, which is an all-time low. There is a problem, though. There is too much money chasing too few goods at the moment. In December, inflation hit its highest rate since 1982, but wages haven’t kept up with the rising cost of food, clothing, and other goods.

Earnings for full-time workers rose by 2.6% a year in the last three months of the year. Other than that, prices went up 7% in December.

Climate: Vice President Biden asked the US to rejoin the Paris climate agreement to show that the United States is a leader on environmental issues. But getting to his goal of cutting emissions in half by 2030 will be a huge problem: During the last year, emissions rose by 6.2% as coal plants came back to life again.

Covid: The pandemic kept going through Biden’s first year in office. Covid killed more people in the US in 2021 than it did in 2020, even though vaccines were available at the time.

Getting people in the United States to get vaccinated has been a big problem. Biden’s vaccine mandate for big businesses was blocked by the Supreme Court. Only 63.8 percent of Americans have been fully vaccinated, which puts the rich country behind almost all of its wealthy peers, even though it has more money.

Geopolitics: Biden took all of the US troops out of Afghanistan in a very messy way, and he has had a very bad relationship with China and Russia. Last week, he said that he thinks Russia will invade the Ukraine.

Biden signed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill and a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill last spring. This is the biggest federal investment in the country’s roads, trains, and other important “nuts and bolts” networks in more than a decade. He also put a hold on student loan payments until May 1.

A lot of other things have run out of steam on Capitol Hill. The Democrats have the smallest majority in the Senate. There was not enough support for the Build Back Better Act, which would have spent a lot of money on environmental programmes, health programmes, and other things.

Joe Biden told reporters yesterday that he thinks that Democrats can get “pieces, big chunks” of the “Build Back Better” bill signed into law for the Democrats.

Looking at the next few years…

Biden’s approval rating is at 40%, which isn’t very good. Obama’s was at 49% at the same point in his presidency. Democrats think that if Biden can control inflation and the pandemic, he will become more popular before the November midterm elections, which are very important for the country.

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