29/04/2021

The Biden revolution

2 min
Joe Biden.

Fighting the pandemic with mass vaccination - 220 million doses administered - and strong Keynesian economic stimuli. More taxes on the rich as a way to make equality of opportunity more real. Injection of public investment for infrastructure and creation of green economy jobs. Commitment to education from childhood to university, with direct aid to families. All this, which is no small thing, on the inside. And on the outside, multilateralism, the fight against climate change and the defence of human rights and democracy in the face of China's rise and the global autocratic danger it represents.

In his first 100 days in office, the US Democratic president, Joe Biden, has pressed the accelerator and is laying the foundations for a radical change with respect to his predecessor, both in terms of objectives and in terms of style and conception of society. Biden intends to quickly forget the tension of the Trump era and, although it is too early for any kind of triumphalism, it seems that green shoots of economic recovery are beginning to show and that the social and ideological polarisation that his predecessor had generated is beginning to subside. The image of Biden in Congress, flanked by Harris and Pelosi, also sends a message of change: women can be in charge and know how to. But, despite the lyrics and the music sounding good, the Biden administration will not have an easy time of it. Among other things because some of the ambitious measures of millionaire investment require a majority in Congress that he does not have, due to the Democrats' slim advantage,

In any case, Biden aims to launch the largest government investment since World War II with a tax hike on big business and on the wealth of the richest 1%. The US president wants to push ahead with a tax reform that will put an end to loopholes and the use of tax havens, and raise taxes to 39.6% for those who earn over $400,000 a year, the same as they paid when George W. Bush became president. It is, in fact, a profound change that means starting to dismantle the conservative revolution that began with Ronald Reagan in the 80s. In a way, Biden's plan, which appeals to the middle class over the financial power of Wall Street, is an America First of a social nature, not a neoliberal one like Trump's.

In ideological terms, Biden's message in favour of an economy with a social soul and a public engine, based on the strength of a full and plural democracy, in addition to imprinting a profound domestic shift, may also have a global effect opposite to that of Trump, who boosted populist authoritarianisms. In fact, Europe is also following, albeit with more difficulties, the path of public stimulus with the Next Generation funds, also emphasising the green economy and making good on the Franco-German axis as an emblem of liberal democracies.