Trump’s legacy, coronavirus and Afghanistan: Biden’s victories and defeats

Written by The Frontier Post

Nikita Folomov

Exactly a year ago, the next presidential election was held in the United States – the votes were counted for a long time, but Joe Biden was chosen. During the election race, he actively criticized his predecessor, Donald Trump, and promised to correct his mistakes. Economists, politicians and sociologists told Gazeta.Ru which campaign promises Biden kept and which he didn’t.

Curb the coronavirus

“I will never raise a white flag. We are going to defeat this virus and take control of the situation, I promise you, ”Joe Biden said on November 2, 2020 during his election campaign in Cleveland. Throughout the campaign, the presidential candidate blamed Donald Trump for de facto surrender to COVID-19, promising that he and his team would do better.

When Biden took over the Oval Office, the pandemic was really catastrophic. January 2021 was the deadliest month of the pandemic to date. In one month, the coronavirus took the lives of more than 79 thousand people.

The newly elected president signed a decree on the mandatory wearing of masks in government offices, as well as when crossing state borders. However, after a few months, the governor of Texas canceled this procedure, which caused strong discontent with Biden . It is noteworthy that the president himself has repeatedly appeared in public without a mask.

On the day of the signing of the decree on the mandatory wearing of masks in the United States, more than 185 thousand infected were registered. Exactly six months later, on June 20, only about 4 thousand cases were recorded in the country, which was a record low since the beginning of the pandemic. The rate of vaccinations and restrictive measures played a role in the significant drop in the growth of new cases.

“Undo” Trump

One of Biden’s main campaign promises was the reversal of a number of Donald Trump’s decrees, including his immigration policy decisions, which allowed immigration authorities to deny migrants a residence permit if they did not have health insurance or sufficient funds. Biden kept his promise and canceled the decree in May.

In January, Biden ordered the suspension of the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico. In February, the politician ordered a review of the asylum procedure at the US-Mexico border, and also created a task force to reunite the families of migrants who were previously divided at the border. However, the consequences of this decision almost turned into a tragedy.

Even before the repeal of several Trump decrees on immigration policy, Biden promised to give migrants and refugees a more welcoming welcome.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of people from Central America rushed to the Mexican border with the United States, provoking a border crisis.

In March alone, about 19 thousand children were stopped at the border with Mexico. And already in early October, the US authorities announced that in 2021 they detained about 1.7 million migrants who were trying to cross the US-Mexican border, which is a record figure.

In addition, Biden canceled a number of other initiatives of his predecessor. So the US president returned Washington to the Paris climate agreement, revoked permission to build part of the Keystone XL pipeline that runs from Canada to the United States, and also lifted Trump’s ban on citizens of several Muslim and African countries from entering the United States.

In May, Biden overturned seven more Trump decrees in one day, including the “Preventing Internet Censorship,” which outlined the responsibility of online platforms for the information they disseminated.

According to Alexander Domrin, professor at the Faculty of Law at the Higher School of Economics , “Biden by his decrees is restoring all the worst that happened under other Democratic presidents – Barack Obama and Bill Clinton .”

Biden’s new decrees did not help improve the welfare of Americans, the expert said.

“Trump was trying to bring America back to America. He suggested that we forget about all sorts of incomprehensible things outside the United States, which are of interest to multinational companies and financial globalists. He offered to create jobs for Americans and forget about the parasites and parasites that flee to the United States, ”said Domrin.

Return Iran, Forget Afghanistan

During his presidential campaign last fall, Biden accused Trump that the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran allowed Tehran to continue accumulating and enriching uranium. In addition, Biden blamed his predecessor for the deterioration of relations with China and European countries.

Since then, the US president has called for Iran to return to dialogue and expressed hope that Washington will be able to continue negotiations with Tehran as part of the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan, from where the Americans withdrew at Trump’s initiative.

However, little has changed during Biden’s presidency. Negotiations to force Iran to comply with the 2015 agreement began in April. In September, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that his government, however, has little desire to resume direct negotiations with the United States.

To return to the multilateral plan of negotiations with Iran, the United States is not needed, says Yuri Rogulev , director of the Franklin Roosevelt Foundation for the Study of the United States at  Moscow State University .

“The US is only required to lift the sanctions. The question is whether Biden will do it. He is already spinning like in a frying pan.

But Trump has imposed a lot of sanctions. It is easy to impose sanctions, but more difficult to reverse. This requires grounds and an appeal to Congress. Biden wants to demonstrate that the Americans really would like to return to the negotiating table, and Iran asks to lift the sanctions, and all the cases, ”explained Rogulev.

In addition to Iran, Biden promised voters to finally deal with the Afghan issue. And although the Trump administration planned to carry out the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, it was Joe Biden who went down in history as the president who put an end to this story. On August 31, the Pentagon announced the completion of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, the consequences of this operation provoked a number of scandals in the United States. First, the organization of the evacuation was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans. Moreover, the withdrawal of American troops was accompanied by numerous reports about Afghans who had previously worked for the Americans, but were unable to leave the country with them. All this significantly influenced the rating of the American president, which continues to fall.

In domestic politics, Biden fulfilled the order of voters to end the “endless war” in Afghanistan, Americanist Lev Sokolschik told Gazeta.Ru. However, the way the evacuation was organized seriously damaged the image of the United States in the international arena.

“Basically, Biden is keeping up with his campaign promises. Many politicians have built their election campaigns on anti-war rhetoric. Domestically, the withdrawal of troops for Biden is a plus. In general, it is not important for voters how the exit happened. The main thing is that American money is no longer buried in Afghan sand. “

According to Falconer, Biden will go down in history as the president who finally put an end to the former military-political paradigm that dominated after the Cold War.

Make america green again

After the election, Joe Biden promised the Americans that his inauguration would allow the United States to pay more attention to climate change issues. The President also set an ambitious goal for the nation: to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Within the framework of this policy, Biden is indeed making some progress and is trying to “lead the world” towards climate prosperity, as promised.

At the beginning of the year, Biden proposed a $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan to Congress that would increase the number of electric vehicles on the road and build clean energy grids. In addition, the president announced plans to expand wind farms along the US coast.

Yuri Rogulev of the US Research Foundation believes that Biden’s pledges to intensify the fight against climate change are a political decision, since American progressive democrats want to take their place in the international liberal-globalist mainstream.

Politically, Biden wanted to demonstrate himself as a progressive democratic politician, Rogulev explained. However, the economic difficulties of transition to the “green economy” rails complicate the life of the American president.

“Firstly, there are a number of nuances in the energy sector. Trump wanted to return production to the United States, and for this the green economy was not suitable. He allowed the extraction of all types of energy sources: coal, gas and oil. Because cheap energy sources attract producers. Trump wanted to restore America’s status as a manufacturer of things and create new jobs. However, Biden has a different agenda related to restrictions on the extraction of energy resources. This all leads to an increase in energy prices, especially against the backdrop of a pandemic, economic crisis and the crisis in the gas market, ”Rogulev said.

In 2017, Trump and the Republicans implemented one of the largest tax reforms in Congress in decades. Taxes were reduced for some categories of legal entities and individuals, as well as tax deductions and benefits were increased.

Biden and the Democrats believe that wealthy Americans and corporations have benefited primarily from tax cuts. During the presidential campaign, the 46th president promised not to raise taxes for those who earn less than $ 400,000, but at the same time called for an increase in the maximum individual income tax rate, as well as the corporate tax rate.

And although it will be difficult for Biden to change the current tax rules, he will continue to work in this direction, says Boris Spuyan, professor at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the Higher School of Economics.

“This is the strategic line of the Democratic Party – to impose additional taxes on the rich and reduce the tax burden on the middle-income groups of the population,” Spuyan explained in an interview with Gazeta.Ru.

Biden has also pledged to raise the country’s minimum wage to $ 15 an hour, and the president has been acting with varying degrees of success.

Since the beginning of his presidency, Biden has tried to incorporate a pay rise in the $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed in March. However, the Senate then did not support the proposal, since such a step would disrupt the budget approval process.

At the same time, Biden was able to sign a decree raising the minimum wage for employees of federal agencies. But raising the national minimum wage is still in question. Boris Spuyan believes that the implementation of these plans requires huge resources, and now a salary increase looks unlikely.

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