By Congressman Tom Cole
Last week, President Joe Biden delivered an address during a joint session of Congress on the eve of his 100th day in office. While it is always an honor to listen to any president speak to Congress, the president’s message unfortunately missed the mark, especially since his actions thus far have been marked by partisan and progressive proposals and misguided unilateral actions.
Since taking office, President Biden has already proposed more than $10 trillion in federal spending – a $4.5 trillion annual budget, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, a $2.3 trillion infrastructure program and now, as outlined during his address, a $1.8 trillion expansion of America’s social safety net.
Unfortunately, his latest proposal yet again calls for massive tax increases and runs the risk of derailing America’s economic recovery that began to pick up in the third quarter of last year.
In his speech, President Biden stated, “America is on the move again.” However, enacting his expensive proposals would surely lead to America’s downturn in the months and years ahead.
Unfortunately, the president’s latest plan would transform America from a free market economy, based on hard work and individual initiative, into a European style social welfare state, replete with high taxes, reams of regulations and a suffocating bureaucracy to regulate our lives and harass hardworking taxpayers.
With the greatest tax increases in modern history, the growth in the economy he celebrated in his address would not last long. Indeed, we have already begun to see inflationary effects through rising gas prices and the increasing cost of goods.
While President Biden spent a great deal of time touting his so-called “American Families Plan” that would lead to higher taxes and irresponsibly add to the national debt, he chose to gloss over several urgent issues facing our country – like the crisis at the southern border. That is likely because he realizes the border emergency is a crisis of his own doing.
Unfortunately, instead of reversing his misguided executive actions from the first days of his presidency and pursuing solutions to help our border patrol counter the flow of people, drugs and crime into our country, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have essentially ignored the situation. In fact, neither has even visited the border, further showing their disregard for this humanitarian and security emergency of enormous proportions.
Although I disagreed with much of what the president had to say during his speech, I was encouraged that he mentioned the importance of retaining a competitive edge against China.
However, he forgot to point out that while they are building up their military, he recently recommended an inflation-adjusted cut for our national defense in his budget outline.
As Russians amass troops on the Ukrainian border to intimidate Europe and China continues tactics of intimidation such as flying airplanes over the Taiwanese airspace and challenging the United States in the South China Sea, the message both China and Russia would understand is a renewed commitment in our military.
Just as it was during the previous administration, strengthening our military and maintaining readiness should continue to be a priority for the United States moving forward.
On the campaign trail and during his inaugural address, President Biden promised to be a leader for all Americans. Unfortunately, his track record of expensive liberal proposals shows he is more interested in appeasing the most radical faction of the Democratic party.
During his next 100 days, I hope the president reverses course and starts to seek and encourage actually bipartisan solutions for the American people. Sadly, I expect partisan debate to continue in the halls of Congress and into the next midterm elections.
And in the end, I believe my fellow advocates of individual liberties, fiscal sanity and a defense ready for our adversaries anywhere will prevail.