Biden as FDR: 100 Days

By Shlomo Maital

    President Biden has a plan.  It’s not new.  It was used by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 90 years ago.  Here is how it works.

     Win election, by offering pragmatic solutions and proposals to an existential crisis (Depression, in 1932;   pandemic, in 2020).

      Begin by winning public trust.  FDR:  solved the bank crisis, by closing the banks and insuring deposits.  He did this first thing on election.   Biden:  reorganize the vaccination program, and vaccinate up to 4 million Americans daily;  132 million Americans got at least one shot, and 100 million have natural immunity; 80% of those over 65 have been vaccinated.

       Build on that trust to tackle other difficult issues.  Climate.   Jobs.  Education. Jobs.  Child care. Jobs.   Use language carefully – Jobs Program, American Jobs…Biden used ‘jobs’ many many times in his recent address to Congress.

        Be bold.  Think big.  Ignore the naysayers. (Republican Senator Tim Scott attacked Biden’s address, but offered not a single positive constructive suggestion.)    

         I recently took part in a webcast with two other forward-thinking economists, from the US and UK.  Both agreed —   the government must play a leading role, and spend hugely,  and then worry later about paying off the debt, in a systematic fashion. 

        This is what FDR did in 1932.  His New Deal did not end the Depression, but eased it for many.    Biden is following his model.  The Biden deal will make life better for many,  while at long last making corporations and billionaires pay taxes. 

         The daily relief of not seeing an evil man spewing bile on Twitter daily,  stirring up his racist supporters and spurring them to violence —  the relief is palpable.  In Yiddish, we call a good person a “mentsch” – a good human being.  We have a mentsch in the White House.  Man, what a relief.