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Tue Aug 18, 2020, 04:55 PM

Vox - Joe Biden's Policy Vision for America

Which American Presidents are widely considered to have been the most progressive in modern times? FDR and Lyndon Johnson. Yet, when they were elected or selected, neither was considered to be overly progressive. FDR was part of the Roosevelt family dynasty. Lyndon Johnon was Southern Democrat from Texas. Indeed, JFK got blowback from progressives for selecting LBJ as his running mate.


Biden is attempting to take office amid a world-historic crisis, which has already claimed more American lives than World War I, Korea, and Vietnam combined and has produced the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression. By May, advisers were telling New York magazine’s Gabriel Debenedetti that Biden wanted an “FDR-sized” administration.

There are aspects of Biden’s policy agenda that rise to this level of ambition. To tackle Covid-19, he’s promised nationwide testing, a 100,000-person Public Health Jobs Corps, hazard pay for essential workers, massive vaccine stockpiles produced ahead of approval for the speediest deployment, and much more.

His economic recovery plan would pay health insurance costs for newly unemployed people, offer middle-class parents and caretakers $8,000 a year for child or long-term care support, spend $700 billion on manufacturing and R&D to expand jobs in those sectors, and make it easier to organize unions.

His climate plan features $2 trillion in investments in clean energy and a clean electricity standard mandating that electricity production in the US not produce any carbon by the year 2035.

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