After a year and a half in office, US President Biden’s approval ratings are less than 40 percent. Critics feel confirmed. The mood is much worse than the situation – six successes show that Biden is leading better than many give him credit for.
The chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, high inflation rates and stagnant economic growth have hit American President Joe Biden hard. The American news magazine “Newsweek” announced at the end of June that the mood in the USA is currently worse than it has been since 1974. At that time, Richard Nixon resigned voluntarily and involuntarily after the Watergate scandal – as the only US president to date.
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The President’s personal approval ratings have also fallen below the 40 percent mark after a year and a half in the White House. He has the lowest acceptance rate of any US President at this point in the legislature. Not only Donald Trump should feel confirmed.
The mood is worse than the situation. “Sleepy Joe”, as his challenger called him contemptuously in the last US election, has delivered – at least more than public opinion gives him credit for at the moment. Here are the six successes of the past two weeks:
1. Passing of the “Inflation Reduction Act”:
The US Senate passed Joe Biden’s social and climate package by a 51-50 vote after a late night voting marathon on Sunday – a historic victory. Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, called the deal “one of the most important legislative achievements of the 21st century.” The package provides:
It is the largest investment in tackling climate change ever. According to energy experts, the measures would help the United States cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 40 percent below 2005 levels by the end of this decade. This puts the Biden administration within striking distance of its goal of halving emissions by 2030.
2. Al Qaeda Leader Taken Out:
Last Tuesday, the US announced that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike. The Islamist was Osama bin Laden’s successor and co-organizer of the attacks of September 11, 2001. After Biden’s negative record in Afghanistan, he was now able to present himself as a winner: “I promised the American people that we would continue to have effective anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan and beyond. That’s exactly what we did.”
3. Gasoline price under control:
In June, the price of a gallon of gasoline was at times more than five dollars. Biden announced he would cut prices. Now a gallon costs around four dollars. A 60-day low.
The main reason for the price reduction is likely to be reduced demand due to high domestic prices and the strength of the dollar abroad. The slowdown in the economy and fears of recession are also having a reinforcing effect. In addition, the release of oil from US reserves ordered by Biden should have a positive impact on prices.
Even if the price development is based on many factors that are not in Biden’s direct responsibility, it remains his political success: The price, in turn, has a direct influence on the minds of citizens in the country. The USA is the country with the highest car density in the world.
4. Kansas votes to protect abortion rights in the state constitution:
In June, after almost 50 years, the constitutionally protected right to abortion was overturned – a serious defeat for the Democrat Biden. Now the citizens of the conservative state of Kansas voted unequivocally for the right to an abortion. Now, at least in Kansas, the government cannot restrict abortion rights. Elections in other federal states will follow in autumn.
Biden and the Democrats, who are clearly in favor of abortion rights, see this as a success. The President tweeted: “Kansas voters have given a clear signal that this fall the American people will vote to preserve and protect their rights and will not let politicians sway them. We’ve got their backs.”
5. Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.5 Percent:
Last Friday, the Labor Department announced that 528,000 new jobs were created in July. The news far exceeded analysts’ expectations as the US economy contracted for two consecutive quarters in what is commonly considered a technical recession.
At 3.5 percent, the unemployment rate is at its lowest level in half a century, most recently in 2020 just before the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. There are even more jobs now than before the pandemic. Joe Biden says he knows the reason for the success: “More people have jobs than at any time in American history and this is the result of my economic plan.”
6. Passage of the Chip Act:
At the end of July, after more than a year of negotiations, the US Congress passed a $52 billion package to boost the chip industry. In addition, 200 billion dollars are to flow into research over a period of ten years in order to be able to compete better with China.
Biden managed to change the mind of the initially quite large number of skeptical MPs and to convince them of his industrial policy. With that, the president is breaking new ground for primal capitalist America, which generally refuses to subsidize entire industries with state money.
As bleak as the polls remain for the Democrats in the midterm elections in November, there is hope that they will remain in power. The 79-year-old Biden is not “sleepy” after his Covid disease, but wide awake. The Democrat doesn’t enjoy power, he fights for it. This is probably one of the reasons why Donald Trump has not (yet) decided to run again.