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Biden Administration: What to Expect

What are the plans for the 46th President of the US in his first term in office?


22th January 2021 16:45 GMT

It seems ironic that the oldest ever President has taken office in what may be one of the worst periods of American history, but perhaps someone with more experience is just what they need. What they do need is someone with a lot of ambition, and a man who’s first presidential campaign was in 1987 will definitely have some ideas.

COVID is, of course, his first big battle, and Biden has already admitted that total deaths in the US will break 500,000 in his first 100 days as president, but hopefully it will still be later than it would’ve been without him. His main weapon will be vaccinations, and his plan to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days would be the place to start. That will be a tough task however, requiring smooth communication on all levels of government.

This, in turn, should be enough for economic boost too, with people leaving the house and spending big once again, maybe even spending bigger than before. The banking system sems secure, and Biden is set on another $1.9 trillion dollars of fiscal stimulus, despite many feeling that this is excessive. Better to go over than under I suppose. Most people have brushed away the risk of any serious inflation at this point, as most of the modern world has been doing since the turn of the century, dishing out expansionary policies and QE with no real worries.

But Biden’s worries won’t end there. When your inauguration requires 25,000 troops, more than are currently deployed in Afghanistan, it seems fair to say that democracy is under threat. Biden has hit home the message of unity hard, but what can really be done? Having a (incredibly slim) majority in both houses doesn’t scream cross party co-operation and suggests some very hard working Democrat whips.

It seems strange to say, but the most successful way to unity the parties would be to impeach trump, allowing the Republicans to move on and bring the country back to normal. Well, closer to normal anyway. It would stop any chance of him running in 2024 and would instead allow a return to more familiar politics. Something I’m sure a veteran of the game like Biden would much appreciate.

But even with this, it is easy to see a world where Republicans oppose every word the comes from the President’s mouth, and Biden’s constant re-iteration of co-operating with the Republicans could also anger the left-wing of the Democrats, losing him support from inside his own party. Sticking to his signature middle-of-the-road centralist approach would be his best bet, but nothing is certain. The trouble with compromise is that no-one is 100% pleased.

But some things are far more certain, like Biden’s approach to climate change. He can re-enter the Paris deal without approval, which he almost certainly will do, but to make any pledges do-able will require the key word: co-operation. Integrating carbon-neutral infrastructure is no easy task, and lead require higher prices for everyone. It would be a massive help though, with a noticeable difference in temperature rises with a far more relaxed US to blame. Sticking to their pledges is not only good for their targets, but helps put pressure on other countries too, noticeably China, who are still be far the number one country for carbon emissions.

China will be another hurdle for Biden. Their relationship is far more hostile now, thanks to the now ex-president Trump, who’s constant mentions of ‘CHI-NA’ have damaged any chances of fresh new trade deals. Biden sees China as a potential ally, but that is not an easy thing to show. Whilst a trade deal with them would be beneficial for the US economy, Biden still needs to take a stand on the events in Xinjiang and keep Mr Xi happy. Not an easy task. But Biden does have some foreign affairs veterans by his side, retaining many of the experts from the Obama days. He himself is more suited to foreign policy too, spending most of his political time grappling either to justice system or foreign affairs.

One thing is certain, Biden’s term is set out to be vastly different to the ones that have come before it, with new challenges and new ways to overcome them. The next four years will be turbulent, but it will be interesting to see how we view these days come the next Presidential election. Despite the familiar face, don’t expect anything familiar. Perhaps you can teach an old dog new tricks.

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