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By Jamie Filias

Freshman, GWU

President Biden was handed some difficult tasks upon entering office in January 2021. He had to control a pandemic, while ensuring that the economy stays afoot. Up to this point, his economic response to the pandemic has been ineffective and his rhetoric has been deeply misleading. Thus, Biden’s COVID-19 response deserves a D-. His economic policy creates government dependence by disincentivizing individuals from returning to work, and his discussion of vaccines falsely undercuts their efficacy.

 

Biden’s COVID-19 rhetoric lacks reason and ignores credible science. Recently, the president and the CDC said that Americans don’t need a mask if they are vaccinated, but these comments stand in stark contrast to the previous narrative. For months, the president asserted that Americans should wear a mask and practice social distancing even if they are fully vaccinated. However, several studies have shown the overwhelming efficacy of the vaccines and that they remain the ticket back to normalcy. President Biden’s statement that it’s patriotic to mask and distance even if Americans are vaccinated disincentivizes people from getting the shot. Nearly a quarter of Americans don’t want the vaccine and millions of people aren’t returning  for their second dose. If the vaccine does not represent a step towards normal life, then people might be less inclined to receive it. Though he is fully vaccinated, he has been wearing masks around others, which could unintentionally undercut the incentives associated with getting the vaccine. The Biden administration has good intentions about keeping Americans safe from COVID-19, but the objective does not match the result. Biden’s new message, “vaxxed or masked,” hasn’t stemmed from newly emerging vaccine efficacy data, but because many people remain opposed to the shot.

 

Biden’s economic response includes expanding the welfare state and lowering qualifications for unemployment benefits, which produces poor outcomes because individuals are not going back to work. The rate of available jobs is increasing, and the unemployment rate is rising because unemployment benefits pay more than jobs. If individuals receive more money from unemployment than a job, why would Americans choose to work? When people don’t go back to work, businesses lack the staff to properly operate said business. The fewer people who work, the less tax revenue goes to the government to pay for unemployment checks, as those on welfare don’t pay federal income tax if it’s their sole source of income. The Federal Reserve has been printing trillions of dollars to pay for these increasing unemployment benefits. The U.S. doesn’t have the money to pay for these checks and has to print more cash to match its spending. By adding more currency into circulation, the value of that cash will decrease, which will eventually lead to hyperinflation. The cost of materials and products are increasing and the demand for workers is high due to these policies and inflation. States across the country are opening and more jobs that existed before the pandemic are available, which renders the expansion of welfare pointless. If Biden wants the economy to flourish again, he needs to cut welfare benefits so people return to work, like many states have done to mitigate these negative effects. 

 

Biden has been ignoring credible science on the efficacy of the vaccines and he has damaged the American economy through massive spending and welfare expansion. His rhetoric undercuts the legitimacy and disincentivizes individuals from getting the vaccine. Additionally, his economic policy results in hyper-inflation and encourages individuals to collect unemployment instead of returning to work. For these reasons, he should receive a grade of a D-.

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