The Trump in sheep’s clothing

Columnist+Mohammed+Rawwas+examines+the+Biden+administration%27s+progress+one+month+into+office.

TNS

Columnist Mohammed Rawwas examines the Biden administration’s progress one month into office.

MOHAMMED RAWWAS

A $2,000 stimulus check provided through a COVID-19 relief bill, a $15 federally-mandated minimum wage, cancelling student debt for all, up to $50,000, an end to weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, U.S. support for the genocide in Yemen and a moratorium on deportations for 100 days. With the possible exception of student debt, all of these are either promises that the Biden campaign made or that the Biden administration has explicitly told us that they have done.

Student debt cancellation was floated as an idea by Chuck Schumer that dominated the news cycle following Biden’s election and inauguration. Yet the stimulus check became not only reduced to $1,400, but was also limited in the recipients who would receive it, regressing even from the Trump stimulus checks, and has not even been passed yet (as of publish time).

Biden has now lied and claimed that a $15 minimum wage cannot be guaranteed through the process of reconciliation. Biden has also lied in claiming that he does not have the executive authority to cancel student debt up to $50,000, though he somehow believes he does have the executive authority to cancel student debt up to $10,000. An end to supporting Saudi Arabia in its offensive war against Yemen has turned into an enthusiastic support for Saudi Arabia in its defensive war against Yemen (as if this does not amount to the same thing), and he has already sold weapons to Chile.

Hundreds of immigrants have already been deported, and there have even been recent reports of ICE officers turning fans on in detention facilities in Louisiana and Texas to sadistically torture detained immigrants, including juveniles and children, already cold due to lack of heating during the recent winter storms that has devastated the southern United States. What were termed “concentration camps” under Trump have merely continued under the Biden administration, but have only been met with a muted liberal reaction. And speaking of the Texas storm, while many have rightly criticized the Republicans in Texas for their failure to act, the Biden administration and the federal government writ large has not nearly provided adequate support, given the severity of the conditions there.

Finally, with the recent announcement of Mitt Romney’s child allowance program, which provides more money than Biden’s plan and is also not doled out through tax credits, given that one-thirds of children in poverty do not have parents who file taxes, meaning that Romney’s program would reach many more poor children than Biden’s would, it is a fair question to ask: who are the Democrats for? We have seen no policy difference between the Trump and Biden administrations, and in fact, we can see that mainstream Democrats are even more hesitant to provide welfare, whether in the form of stimulus checks or child allowance programs. It is not merely that Biden is unable to carry out policy change, but that he is unwilling, and explicitly and vehemently opposed to progressive legislation, whether it is student debt relief or universal healthcare.

With Democrats’ unwillingness to remove the filibuster in the Senate, it is unlikely that any major legislation will pass, despite a majority in both chambers of Congress and control of the Executive branch. All we can expect is the continuation of the same cruelty of the Trump administration, just under a different name.