Do our elected officials even know what good news looks like anymore?
While the pandemic has understandably left many Americans shell-shocked and wary, we expect the people we elect to high office — and the people they, in turn, appoint to head the federal bureaucracy — to examine things with clear eyes.
When it comes to both the pandemic and the economy, it appears the nation has turned the corner.
In the past few weeks, as vaccinations have ramped up, the U.S. has seen dramatic declines in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
Alabama has seen a decline, followed by periodic peaks and valleys, as it continues to bring up the rear in terms of vaccinations. Still, we’re better off now than we were just a few months ago.
Much of the rest of the world isn’t so lucky. The COVID situation in India, for example, is dire. Yet it is made worse by U.S. export restrictions on the raw materials India needs to make vaccines, as well as the delay in releasing vaccines approved for use there but not here.
First, the blasé attitude of President Donald Trump’s administration toward COVID-19 cost lives here, and now the overly cautious attitude of President Joe Biden’s administration is costing lives overseas — as well as doing serious damage to the United States’ relationship with the world’s second-largest country at a time Biden has said he want to repair the U.S.’s reputation abroad.
Helping other nations get COVID under control, now that we’re in a position to do so, is in our best interests. Outbreaks anywhere run the risk of becoming outbreaks here, which is one reason we may need booster shots in six months.
Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is showing all the signs that it is ready to come roaring back.
“The economy grew last quarter at a vigorous 6.4% annual rate, the government said Thursday, and expectations are that the current quarter will be even better,” The Associated Press reported. “The number of people seeking unemployment aid — a rough reflection of layoffs — last week reached its lowest point since the pandemic struck. … For 2021 as a whole, they expect the economy to expand close to 7%, which would mark the fastest calendar-year growth since 1984.”
Yet the Biden Administration doesn’t see the recovery as any excuse to stop spending money borrowed from future generations.
President Bill Clinton once said the era of big government was over. In his speech to Congress on Wednesday, Biden proclaimed its second coming. He proposed a $1.8 trillion American Families Plan to go along with his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan which would join the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill Congress has already passed but which, with the exception of the direct payments, won’t trickle down to the average person until after the pandemic is largely over.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve looks to keep interest rates at near zero until at least 2023. But who needs fiscal and monetary responsibility when you have an opportunity to remake America?
Will all of this make the economy overheat? Will inflation finally rear its head?
One can lose a lot of money predicting the bubble will pop every day until it finally does, but one thing is for certain: Biden and Trump will be long gone when the bill for their spending finally comes due.